Sunday, December 7, 2008

When Your Kids Start Dating

I have to be honest, It's a little weird when your kids start dating. But it can be fun too! Seeing them becoming interested in the opposite sex can be very frightening. And seeing the kind of people they choose to be with is very interesting to say the least.

My oldest son Kyle has had a couple of girlfriends in the past, they lasted maybe 3 or 4 months at the most. Then he met Olivia just before Christmas last year when she & her family started attending our church. Soon after, her family left to spend Christmas in Hawaii. She & Kyle were texting the entire time she was gone. (Thank God for unlimited text plans, you couldn't have teenagers with out them!) So, in January when she got home, they started "hanging out" with each other. Kyle was 17 and Olivia was not yet 16. The rule in her house (which I love!) was no dating until the age of 16. So, Kyle takes it upon himself to go to her father and asked him for permission to date his daughter. It was granted. For reasons unknown they really like Kyle! ;)

So, it's coming up on a year the two of them have been dating now. We really like Olivia, she's so sweet, and smart and funny and talented (she plays guitar and sings with Kyle & Zach on the youth Worship team) Hey, don't they say sometimes, that boys pick girls just like their mothers?! Sorry Olivia, (I'm sure she's horrified now! And we may never see her after this post)

Kyle & I have had a few talks about that fact that since he is her first boyfriend he has an even greater responsibility to treat her right. Because, although it does happen, it's not often that people marry the person they dated in High School. (One of my brothers is married to the girl he started dating in Jr. High!, but, for most of us it didn't happen that way) And being Youth Pastors I've seen too many teenage girls totally change themselves to please some guy. Or come to except being treated badly by boys, or worse start to believe that's all they deserve. And having daughters has made me sensitive to the plight of young girls as well. So, I've told Kyle, he has to set the bar high for her. If he treats her well, like she deserves to be treated, If he isn't the one she ends up marrying (many, many years down the road!) She will chose guys who treat her well in the future as well. She will know she deserves to be treated like the princess that she is!

I remember being picked up for a first date with some guy, and walking out to his car, and he went & got in his side of the car. So, I just stood there outside the car until he got back out, came around to my side, & opened the car door for me. I figured if my own brothers could open doors for me, surely any guy who wanted to date me could. (This was not John BTW. Of course I chose to marry one who knew how to treat me well, better than I deserve even) But enough about me, now back to my kids.

Kyle & Olivia go to different High Schools, & Olivia's school was having their Winter Formal and the tradition is girls ask the boys, so one day when Kyle got home from school this is what he saw . . .

An invitation written in side walk chalk. Clever.

So, last night was the winter formal. They looked really great and had a great time. I thought I'd share a picture with you.



74 comments:

Katie said...

My parents had the 16 rule! It was 16 for group dating and 18 for alone dating. I really appreciated the rule, because it got me out of some awkward 'no' situations!! :)

mommaof4wife2r said...

first, hooray for you teaching that young man to treat women with respect! second, what a great little lady he got ahold of...and what treat he is for her too! u must be proud in sooo many ways. now, when paige is in hs next year, it will happen to me. yikes! thanks for stopping by my blog today!

lmerie said...

I have a 15 year old son! There is interest, but dating, right now does not include any more than seeing each other at school and text messaging and one's younger brothers birthday part. And they have not lasted more than 11 days! I gulp thinking about the dating years. I tell him to remember he is a gentleman and she is a lady and I expect him to be sure that stays that way!

stefanie said...

Love it. Forwarding this to my daughters. Thanks!

br8eyes said...

My 16 year old boy is now dating his second girlfriend. She is allowed to come over our house, but they are not allowed in his room at all. He is not allowed to get his license until he is 18. She lives up the street and when she comes over, he walks to pick her up and walks her back home. If they want to go to a movie, I go with them (and sit a few rows behind them).

I feel very blessed that he is comfortable enough to talk to me about his relationships, and I'm not talking about a 10 minute conversation, I mean, him and I sit for hours discussing his life. I, like you, think it is very important to teach them to respect women.

Betsy said...

What a great looking couple!

greedygrace said...

Happy SITS Day!

Look at how sweet they are! Good for you for teaching your son how to respect his girl! They look like a good match!

Marie Reed said...

My parents had a 16 year rule too... of course I was a knobby kneed, braces wearing nerd, nerd to the third power who didn't get asked out until I was 18!

Rhea said...

What a cute way to ask him, with sidewalk chalk! I love it. They make an adorable couple.

I am so NOT ready for dating yet. yikes.

The Wife O Riley said...

When I was 16, my boyfriend was 20, my mother had a fit.

We've been married now for almost 14 years and have 2 beautiful daughters.

They are a beautiful couple

Ryan Ashley Scott@Opitimistic Cyicism said...

What a gentleman you are raising! It gives me hope for my 3yo - nervous, too. Sounds like you are handling it like a pro, though. I'm going to ask you to call me in about 13 years. :)

Louisa said...

What a beautiful couple and wonderful post. I think the message you are sending to Kyle, Olivia and your own daughters is wonderful! Good on you!!

Creative Junkie said...

Awwwww - how sweet is that invitation?

My eldest is almost 15 and we have the same rule of no dating until she's 16. She and all of her friends "go out" with boys, which basically means eating lunch together and walking down the hall together. And I allow her to go out in groups for movies and bowling and stuff. But no one-on-one dates yet.

Even the thought of it makes me shudder.

Preston said...

My daughter had a "bf" when she was 13 BUT he was a neighborhood kid who was always at our house. He was a good kid and I believe, initially, just a friend. But they were never allowed alone together or in her room. They did break up and I use to have to beat the boys back with a stick. They are dating again and have been for some years. Happy SITS day.

Melissa Papaj Photography said...

They are so cute! And I am impressed that you are raising your son the right way. I LOVE IT!

Coffee with Cathy said...

As the mother of two daughters, I always hoped the boys they went out with had mothers like you! Thank you for teaching your son such important lessons.

Tori said...

Yay! My parents didn't have the 16 rule, but I basically made it myself lol. A lot of communication with trustworthy parents is key to an excellent relationship IMHO--great job!

Lyssa Ireland Thomas said...

What a wonderful thing to teach your son on how to treat a woman! I'm going to have to steal that for my son. Thanks!

paestar said...

Love the blog!!! I absolutely love the picture of your whole family. BEAUTIFUL!! I also love all the VIPS, I read them all. You have a great blogging style, and more importantly, it seems like you have a great parenting style!!!
abby

Diva Scrapper said...

What a great story. The picture is beautiful. I'm just starting out, my ds is 20 months old...so I have long time a ways before he starts to date.

Astrid said...

AAAAAACCCCCKKKKKK!!!!!!

We've got several years to go before we have to worry about dating but it's something that scares the heck out of me. I like the 16 age rule.

That's a beautiful photo!!!!

April said...

I know all about the dating scene...my oldest daughter is 16 1/2. She broke up not long ago with her boyfriend of 14 months. Now, she has a new boyfriend, and he's very nice. Your son and his girlfriend are such a cute couple!

Melanie said...

ooooo!! They look stunning! My oldest boy just turned 18 and went on his first "date" (with mommy chaperoning because I'm a freak like that)... I can relate...

Wendy@RuensOnTheRun said...

Another great post! My oldest is 8, and I already worry about the teenage years. Cute picture before the dance! It's great that you are teaching your son how to treat a woman...I am already trying to do the same thing.

ScrappinAway said...

What a great pic! I love that you are teaching your son that! I think it can go both ways though, I know I was not always the nicest person to my first "love" and I regret that now. But thankfully I had the opportunity to apologize years ago and we were able to become friends!

Thrifty and Chic Mom said...

SO cute my husband and I started dating senior year, but great advice on setting the bar high.

Becky Welch said...

We had the no dating till 16 rule as well. It was a good one and we plan on doing the same for ours. You inspire me the way you are teaching your children such important things in life!

Claire said...

They make a lovely couple. It's so wonderful to hear the things you are teaching your son. He will be a wonderful husband someday! I hope there is a mom out there right now with a little boy about 4-8 years old raising him just right for my little girl.

wenderful said...

My husband and I started dating our senior year too and got married 6 years later. And I was not allowed to date until I as 16 too, a rule now in our house. You have done a great job of raising boys. You are a great example to all of us with boys of our own.
Happy SITs Day!

Ali said...

They look so cute! I know it's customary to be so worried about daughters when they get to that age of dating but with 2 boys of my own, it's so nice to hear your perspective! Boys aren't all bad, huh?!!

Shalee- Be Speechless said...

My family had the no dating till 16 rule. I liked that. :D

Your young man is a true gentlemen.

Happy SITS day

Rebecca {at} Thrilled by the Thought said...

I had the 16 rule too! Drove me nuts, but I now see the wisdom. I'm glad you're teaching your son to treat girls right. We need more of that in this world.

I can't believe you stood by your car door on a first date! You're so gutsy! But I'm sure you taught that boy a lesson he didn't forget!

Happy SITS day!

Jaden Paige said...

What a cute idea for an invite :)

They look so adorable together! I'm glad you're making sure Kyle treats his girl with the respect she deserves... it's so important these days!

Janna said...

What a good message to instill in your son. They are a very cute couple. Happy SITS Day!

Cricket said...

What a creative way for her to invite him! It's my first visit to your blog, but I'm loving it so far :)

Reeni♥ said...

They look so cute! I love the way she asked him, so clever. Happy SITS day!!

lmerie said...

Happy SITS day! I have been here before and remember thinking I need to come back!!!

Ok, adding you to my fav's now!!

Mikki Black said...

We told our kids they had to be 40 before they could date, but since we've been married since age 18, I guess we should scale that back a bit....

On an unrelated note: I teach high school, and the hormones are ridiculous at this age! I see more smooching and hugging at work than on TV! It is SUCH a good idea to raise your kids to realize that waiting is a good thing! (Please continue to do me that favor, people... my eyes are burning!)

Laura said...

The world needs more awesome moms like you. That's a cute picture too!

thedailyelephant said...

hey! saw you over at SITS. looks like you are doing a great job with your kids =) I can't imagine anything more stressful than a teenager

blognut said...

I love what you're teaching your kids about dating.

Vickie said...

Awesome job raising your son!!

I also couldn't date until I was 16. It is a good rule.

The picture looks so nice with the tree in back. It has a glow to it.

Lisa M said...

The 16 rule is definately in effect at our house lol. I have 2 girls and one boy right now, but will soon have 3 girls and 3 boys. Dating is going to be a long drawn out process over here lol, and if the 16 rule will keep away a tiny bit of drama, then so be it, haha ;)

BTW, That's a Wonderful pic of the kids before the winter formal.

Jenn Calling Home said...

Greetings! Coming over from SITS. I love your blog and it seems we have a lot in common: raising teens (I have 2 girls - 15 & 18; one dating and both on the worship team at church). Also married to a rocker husband. It gets quite loud over here! Nice to meet you and stop by for a visit sometime. Blessings!

Mimi said...

My son is almost 17 so we have been dealing with this too. My 13 year old son just had his first girl-friend break up with him.

Can't they be little again? LOL

Happy SITS day!

Karen said...

I really liked this, especially the thought that a young woman's first boyfriend has such a huge responsibility. Well-written.

Elizabeth M Thompson said...

My two youngest are still in the "crush" stage. We keep them from getting too silly about it and help them focus on being a good friend. They are several years away from dating. But the boy-girl stuff kicks in early.

The Sweet Jelly Bean said...

Oh my gosh, I love that she asked him via chalk on the driveway! :)

Brandy said...

My 17 yr old has been dating the same girl since April last year so almost a year. Her parents had the same rules, but also made an exception for SS.

What a cute idea for an invite!

Saundra@ItalianMamaGoneCrazy said...

THAT was a wonderful post.

What a lovely couple!

I am going to tell my 14 yr old about the setting the bar high...

love it!

Just say Julie said...

What a great point of view from the mom of a son. I always hear how tough it is for the parents of the girls, but the boy's moms have just as hard a time. My son is only 9, so I'd like to think we still have a while before we get into dating, but as a middle school teacher I've broken up way to many "kissing couples' in the stairwell to live in ignorance. You should be proud of how you've raised this young man.

Sarah said...

Wonderful post!

(I married my high school sweetheart!)

Momma Chae said...

Wow - I just realized I haven't thought about this at all! My kids are only 3 and 1, though, so I should have a while. I really need to make sure I have some consensus with my husband before my kids get old enough to start asking us what our thoughts are.

Joy said...

I love everything you said in this post. Such a smart lady you are and raising a good boy!

Zen Ventures said...

I would love my daughter to have yu for a MIL! I admire your principles on the dating aspect and the respect that goes with it. I think Olivia is doubly blessed to have you and Kyle in this dating stage in her life.

Maricris
Zen Ventures
Golden Flower Creations

•´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Erin.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´• said...

Such a good post. Sounds like you're raising your son wonderfully. I know my husband is going to freak out when my daughter is old enough to start dating...

Happy SITS day!

JessicaMarie said...

As a girl who entered the dating world completely ill-equipped, I'm so glad to see that you're preparing your son well.

If only someone had taught MY first boyfriend the importance of setting the bar high. Especially since teenage girls are teetering along with forming an adult idea of themselves, it's important that young men are careful not to harm that process.

Lynn said...

Absolutely adorable. This took me back to another time. It's awesome to hear a mother speak to her son about how to treat a young lady. Too many young men without this kind of training end up on Maury Povich disputing that 'It ain't my kid!' - Brava to you! Keep up the good home training and you will surely be rewarded with an appreciative (and loved) daughter-in-law!
My best, Lynn

Kat said...

My girls are only 7 and 11...but they have the boy bug. And we have boys already calling my 11 year old. I am not ready for the dating thing. I am sure that my husband is not either! But I suppose that now is the time to be thinking about it.

mrsbear said...

What a sweet pair. I personally am not looking forward to the dating scene. My oldest is 14 and we haven't crossed that bridge yet. 16 sounds like a good age, or 26 is good too. ;) Pleasure reading you.

Sherrie said...

Great looking couple! That's a really clever way of asking him, too. Smart girl! I'm thankful that my son is still "allergic" to girls (those are his words). LOL!

Karen (KayKay) said...

What a great looking couple. We are in the thick of the teenage dating stuff at our house as well. The bad thing is when you fall in love with the girls that your son brings home and then they break up!

Mrs. D said...

My kids are little, but I do remember what my parents did with me when I was dating. I'm glad they were strict about curfews and meeting all my dates...otherwise who knows what kind of creeps I might have gone out with!

Christie said...

I think it's great that he's dating someone you like. Your son seems like a great kid (and you a great mom).

jubilee said...

We had the 16 rule too. My daughter will have the same rule. She jsut doesn't know it yet!

Ritch in Love said...

We had the 16 rule as well, but I broke it. I actually went on my first date behind my parents back. LOL! Lame too! He was 2 years older, a senior (wooo) but practically as tall as I am...5'0...he was 5'2". I thought I was SO grown up!
Looks like your son has great taste!!

angie said...

What a cute couple!

Katy Lin :) said...

they do look great! and i love your advice to Kyle about treating her right! :) hope your SITS day was great

Karol said...

I honestly hope to teach my boys like you have taught yours. That's awesome.

Lesha said...

I have a 19 MONTH old son, and I wanted to say thank you. There are a lot of things I haven't thought about since they are so far in the future, but I am going to tuck your lesson for your son into the far recesses of my mom-brain and hopefully when the time comes for him to start dating I will be able to pull it out and teach it to my son as well.

Michelle said...

Now those are some good rules. And I hope that she's happy with him. There is so much that I learned from the people I dated before I met and married my husband. Here's hoping your children do, too!

Adrian's Crazy Life said...

That's a cute idea to ask someone to the prom that way - very clever.

My son did that one year. He sent the girl a gold fish bowl full of those goldfish crackers and a little poem - Out of all the fish in the sea, would you go to the prom with me? I thought it was very cute, but she said no.

Ani said...

Thats so great that you've instilled in your son the importance of treating women well... I think i'd like one of those in my age please!! :-)

Juls said...

Thanks for sharing that...and I really like the clever "Winter Formal?"..she sounds sweet!