Monday, November 17, 2008

“Dad, I know 2 boys are in love with me.” “How
do you know?” I asked. “Josh and JD told me.” That was the beginning of the first of many conversations between my 7 year old princess and me this week. I wish I remembered all of the stories like this one relating to my oldest daughter from years gone by. They are all cute to remember and even cuter when they happened. We all have stories like those from our growing up years. I was “engaged” in Kindergarten. I bet you spent hours chasing your “crush” around the playground or the church lawn.

We have decided to be “counter culture” when it comes to dating and relationships. The culture says it’s OK to date anyone starting at 6 or 7th grade, maybe earlier. Many will give their hearts away over and over again before they actually solidify the relationship with marriage. The physical acts of love have been made a “rite of passage” for some and reduced to a “benefit” of friendship for others. I don’t need to repeat the statistics, because they are probably more shocking than what is reported.

We are training our daughters that Daddy is the only man in their life. When it is time to choose a man to give their heart to, Daddy and Daughter will choose him together. One-on-one, exclusive dating leads to the releasing of the heart before one is fully prepared for the consequences of that and is not healthy or necessary for H.S. teens, or 7 year olds for that matter. I did say “counter culture”. We also teach that the feelings of “crush” are normal and natural. Acting on them only leads to unnecessary heartache and as parents, we can protect our teens from that heartache by teaching them that there is a better way than one-on-one, exclusive dating in H.S. The conversation about these principles are as important as the application of them, in my opinion. I believe my teen is thinking more deeply about love and infatuation than most teens her age.

There is so much more I could write about this topic. We are navigating the waters of group activities involving “the crush”. We bought a Prom Dress and were prepared for that event should it happen. We field questions and hear stories almost daily and pray even more than that. And some day she will bring a boy home whom we will have impressions about, make judgments about, and surely deem unworthy of our daughter’s affections. Then one of those boys will persuade me to give my blessing, thus the process of choosing together.

Lest you think us sexist, the same standards apply to our son. That’s a whole other lesson in going “counter culture”.

And when they start knocking at our door, they will find an application in our foyer with questions like these:

In 50 words or less, what does 'LATE' mean to you?

In 50 words or less, what does 'DON'T TOUCH MY DAUGHTER' mean to you?

What do you want to do IF you grow up?

Complete these statements:

A woman's place is in the… T

he one thing I hope this application does not ask me about is…


Thank you for your interest, and it had better be genuine and non-sexual.Please allow four to six years for processing.You will be contacted in writing if you are approved. Please do not try to call or write (since you probably can't, and it would cause you injury). If your application is rejected, you will be notified by three gentleman wearing white ties carrying violin cases. (you might watch your back)


noelle said...

Very funny. I agree that romance comes at too young of an age anymore. And in that, it loses so much of it's special meaning. I remember when our oldest was in kindergarten. There was a boy that she really had a lot of fun playing with. They played Spy Kids at every recess. Other kids would tease them about being boyfriend/girlfriend. It really upset Aleena. I talked with her about how it's OK to have special feelings for a special friend, but it doesn't mean it's romance. And I was thrilled that she was learning to have real friendship with this special person doing things they both enjoyed.

I think our kids are really blessed because they are paired up girl then boy, boy then girl, girl then boy. They have a very close friend in their family of the opposite sex. The 4 oldest all are able to have friendship with members of the opposite sex and just enjoy that time. The other stuff will come soon enough, I'm afraid. But for right now, even our 2 in middle school are content to act their age when it comes to relationships.

Linda said...

Hey Don,
I finally got a chance to look through your blog. Great posts! Your youngest sure reminds me of your sister when she was little. What a cutie.

Looking back, I'm grateful my parents didn't allow me to one-on-one date. We could go out as a group of friends, male and female, but never one-on-one. Thank you Mom and Dad! It's just too much at too young of an age to handle. We will apply similar rules to our kids.

Love your application process and questions for potential suitors. Too funny.

Anonymous said...

Agree with you. My sister's three boys were allowed to have dates as seniors if they chose to. If the girl called the house to talk with one of her sons and she didn't have impeccable phone manners, she was out. Period. Of course, my sister didn't believe any girl should ever call a boy's house. My sister is a high school science teacher and sees the very worst and the best of today's youth. Her sons are all in college now and the standard they choose for dating a girl is very high because of their parent's rules - which they came to fully understand even more when they left home and entered a whole other world of university campus.

Through the Lens of Life said...

lol did i ever tell you that i tried to kiss a boy in kindergarten. just thought you should know :)