How do I decide when to let my daughter date?

Discussion in 'Family and Parenting' started by Roger B, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. How do I decide when to let my daughter date?

    I have an pre-teen daughter that is beginning to talk about boyfriends and dating. I have sat her down and talked with her about some of the pitfalls of dating.

    I have also told her that there will not be a "magic age" that she starts dating. Instead she will be allowed to date when she is emotionally ready; and a Christian boy ,that was a friend first, seems like he may be a match for her. What other things should I consider?
  2. Overall, I would think that if you knew the boy beforehand, and knew his parents, that that would suffice. I guess the only thing to do would be to find out what the boys parents thought about abstinance, marriage and the like. Obviously if they don't care for abstinance, don't teach it, or had shown their boy what NOT to do until marriage then I would probably keep looking... Just to be safe...
  3. I'd like to help you Roger, but I haven't had to deal with that situation yet.

    I have two daughters, but I don't plan to let them date before they are in their 30's.

    I'll let you know how it goes in about 20 years. :D
  4. Brother C,. I hear you!
    We say that now about our last daughter!

    I read an interesting blog where a father said the boy had to date him first!!!
    I thought , "WOW" what a concept!
    This man was very serious and I can't remember if it was a month or 3 months, but this would certainly prove how serious someone was about your daughter!

  5. I do not know if I want to get that close, but I heard an interesting way to talk to the boy that is going to be allowed to go on a date with my daughter.

    "Do you see my car out there? How much do you think it costs? Do you think I would let you borrow it if I barely knew you? Your right. I won't let you borrow it, but I am letting you take my daughter out in your car. If I do not want you damaging my car, think how strongly I must feel about my daughter. I would appreciate it if you treated her exactly how you think I would treat her."

    I think that would probably send the appropriate message when the time comes.
  6. "Dating" was more of a joke than what it actually stood for.
    I understand they spent alot of time together working on the farm, etc......
    What better way to know someone than to spend personal time with them!

  7. OR, if you wanted too you could...

    Have you and the boy sit at one end of a long table.... have a bat at the other end... then tell the boy that if he decides to harm your daughter in anyway... that you know exactly where that bat is and where the boy lives, currently... just to get your point across.
  8. I think I would begin with a few simple questions...

    Why do you want to start dating?

    Is it something that your friends are doing, and you want to fit in?
    Are you interested in dating because you want more private interaction with boys?
    Is there a specific person that you are interested in dating?

    If there is a specific person, I would call and visit with his parents before permitting a date.
    (Apples don't fall far from the tree.)
    This visit could also have a great impact on your decision making.

    Her answer to these questions would open a good dialogue, as well as tell me where her head is at.

    If she is serious and mature enough to date, I would then discuss the obvious.


    Most young people today have been exposed to pornography. They know what it feels like to be sexually aroused, and most have masterbated.

    This is a serious problem, and should be addressed.

    I would explain that these feelings are normal for her to have, and that he will have them too.

    I would explain that God has very specific rules regarding sex. They are also very simple.

    Sex outside of marriage is a sin.

    To have sex outside of marriage is the same as cursing God and shaking your fist at Him.

    No one in history has ever cursed God and not suffered serious consequences.

    I would then discuss the consequences with her. I would also be rather graphic. This is a serious issue. Sex can be deadly today.

    I would also impress on her what a wonderful and precious gift her virginity is. And that she has no right to deny her future husband of that gif for her own selfish desires.

    ............... Then I would kiss my little girl on the forehead, and tell her how much I love her.

    Finally, before the date, me and the "boy" would go hunting.
    We would have a nice little talk, out there, way back on 800 acres of private land. Just him, me, a 7.62 SKS rifle, and a little time to "UNDERSTAND" one another.

    Happy Dating!
  9. Good one CShultz
  10. My daughter is not quite old enough to hit the dating stage, but I will share with you some things that I went through as a young girl and also some things that I believe about dating now that I am an adult (and based upon my own experiences).

    I grew up in a very conservative Christian home. My parents did the whole "purity ring" and promise thing. They had a magic age (16) that dating was allowed, and a rule that anyone I dated must pick me up at the door and talk to them before taking me out. Well, age 16 came and I went on one date. It was horrible. I was completely embarrassed at the way they brought him in and grilled him. I was dating him, not marrying him. We went to a movie and it was horrible. He laughed at the movie the entire time and I thought it was the dumbest thing I had ever seen. When he took me home, I got out of his vehicle and got inside as fast as I could. I never dated him again. After that I never dated at all for a while. I knew of other girls whose parents had similar rules and they would do things such as sneaking out on dates because they wanted to avoid the parental inquisition. Not too long later, I went on a date, he passed the whole 20 questions game with my parents, and on the date I discovered that he and I had nothing in common. We argued the entire time about religion. I decided I had no interest in ever seeing him again, but even still he sent me a letter in the mail. My parents opened it and read it before I even knew it existed. In it, he said he had a great time on the date and proceeded to write about what things he wanted to do on our second date. When I came home from school that day, my parents were waiting for me quite accusatory and assuming that everything he wrote was true. It was a horrible experience. The worst ever. Especially because none of it was true, I disliked the guy, and had no intention of ever seeing him again. I never even understood why he would write such a letter. I never saw the letter. I only knew that I was being accused of horrible false things. After that, I realized that my parents did not trust me and even if I told the truth I was considered to be a liar. Now, some of you might say that my parents probably had good reasons to not trust me-- and you would be wrong. I was one of those kids growing up that was "perfect" and I never did anything wrong ever. I really was. The way I was treated by my parents affected me so deeply that I spiraled into a deep depression. I lost interest in everything. I stopped eating. I stopped participating in sports, church, activities, etc. I stopped caring about myself or what I did. It was the darkest time in my life and lasted for about 8 years.

    I am telling these things because I think that sometimes parents mean well, but can go overboard in trying to protect their children. At some point you have to just let go and give them over to God. You have to trust them and trust that you raised them right. You have to trust God that he will protect them. You have to be available to them for guidance. You have to be open to them to be able to come and talk to you. I strongly believe in abstinence, as do all of you, but what happens if your daughter did mess up and suddenly get pregnant? Wouldn't you want her to be able to feel she can talk to you and confess her sin-- or would you rather she hide it and then stuff the baby in a trash bag when it is born because of her fear of disappointing you? It happens all the time in our country.

    All of that being said, I think it is important that parents are open and honest with their children about dating, sex, etc. I think that a father should be his daughter's first date-- who better for her to learn about dating from than her own father. I lived one place where these fathers wold take their daughters (young girls beginning at age 5) out for valentine's day in order to model for her what a proper date is like. It was the sweetest thing to see. Believe it or not, but girls are more likely to become promiscuous when the father is absent in the home (and absent can also mean physically present, yet emotionally absent from her life). Thirdly, I think that parents need to learn to let go and trust. By trusting, I certainly don't mean letting her loose int he world and saying "have fun." I mean that if she comes to you and says that a boy asked her out, then talk to her about her decision to date this boy and trust that she will make wise choices. Forget about 20 questions: is he a christian, are his parents christians, does he go to church, what church, etc. Yes, those things are important, but asking them makes it more like a drill and may also place your child in a position to lie because one wrong answer means no date. How about asking her "what things about this boy do you like?" "Tell me about this boy (open ended question) and the things he does that gets your attention." "Why do you want to go on a date with this particular boy?" Ask questions like these that help you learn about the boy without her feeling pressured to answer things correctly. Let her decide if she wants to date him. Pray with her that she makes the right choice. Let her know that it is okay to say "no" to him if she chooses not to date him.

    Anyhow, I am rambling. :p How about group dates? Those are usually more safe for girls at younger ages. Tell her you would rather she not start dating solo yet, but if she and some friends (mixed gender friends) want to go bowling then you would be more than happy to drop them off. Yes-- drop them off! Not stay and baby-sit. It's the trust thing again.

    In this day and age, give her a cell phone to call if she needs anything. Tell her if it isn't going well and she wants you to come get her where ever she is then she can call and you will be there. Tell her if at any time she feel uncomfortable, call. If at anytime he tries to push her into anything she is not ready for-- call...and call 911 if necessary. If she just wants to go into the bathroom and chat during the date -- call. etc.
  11. I like stun guns. I bought my first with my own money back when I was 15. :p Back then it was illegal in many states to have them. Don't know if that is still true or not. I never was faced with an opportunity to use mine.

    I think that all girls should have self defense classes and learn safety tips for when they are alone at night.
  12. To BookWorm, please read!

    Hi BookWorm! First, where in Texas are you? I'm in the Dallas-FortWorth area. Second I just wanted you to know how thoroughly I enjoyed reading your answer. I truly think you hit the nail right on the head. I have 2 little girls myself and I am right up there with you in trusting that we raised them right and that God has them in His hand! I didn't grow up in a Christian home and my parents never trusted me at all! No matter what I did or said they were suspicious and inquisitive. I felt horrible and I grew up with no self-esteem whatsoever and I doubted myself all the time. It took God a long time to get me off that mary-go-round and teach me to trust Him and trust myself with Him. So, now that I am a parent myself and, thank God, healed and with some self-esteem, I am praying a lot about what kind of parent I will be to these girls. Needless to say, I agree with everything you said. I am so glad to see that, even though you had such a bad time of it for quite a long time, the Lord changed you and loved you into wholeness and now you have quite a lot of wisdom to share! That's a testimony!

  13. Laura, thanks for your kind words. God certainly is good and has brought me out of a lot! He was there for me even at times that I didn't care if anyone was.

    I am down in the Texas Hill Country-- a small ways outside of San Antonio.
  14. Bookworm,

    I am sorry to hear about your bad experience. It sounds as if your teen years were not very good. However, I do not agree with allowing a teen to begin making decisions completely for herself. I believe they still need a parents guidance and discipline.

    I do agree that the first conversations about it should not be when a boy has asked her out. I am having conversations about it now. I am also laying down the ground rules now. As long as my rules are reasonable and the rules have been explained, then any embarrassment will be caused by her attempting to break the rules.

    I hope to train her so that she will make wise decisions when she is an older teen-ager, and I will let her make some mistakes. But, I will not let her make a blunder that could have huge consequences. If she makes those blunders, it will be after I have done my best to keep her from it.
  15. My teen years were fine actually..... up until the point that I mentioned as a sudden turning point. :p (Which occurred about three-quarters of the way through my senior year in highschool.) Prior to that, my years were no different than probably many other girls living in an authoritarian home with parents who believe they are authoritative. ;)

    BTW, I believe that teens still need guidance and discipline as well. At the same time I believe they need to be trusted to allowed to make decisions on their own. I don't see the two things as being incongruous.

    Thank you for your reply to me. I'm sorry if I worded things in a manner that made them come out wrong. I didn't want to get into too much detail. Sorry about that.

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