Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Boyfriends, Boyfriends...

Yesterday's post got me thinking about what exactly it is I want to happen.

Cause, you know, if my goal is to keep my daughters locked in the basement and make sure they're socially stunted for LIFE, at least I want to be clear about it.

What really is a healthy development in the boy department? There are a couple of things I'm sure of. No sex before marriage. No dating until age 16. And by dating, I mean pairing up with someone of the opposite sex to do an activity as a couple. Yes, watching a movie in your parent's living room counts.

Everything else I'm kinda fuzzy with.
If you could write the script, when would a young girl have her first boyfriend? first kiss? first party to include both boys and girls? first_____ anything else???


Melissa said...

Wow... those are tough questions. I had my first boyfriend at 15... much to the dismay of my parents. I think I started going to boy/girl parties when I was 14-15. But no one on one stuff till I was 16. And even then I was encouraged to double date for a year.

miggy said...

Here's my take . . . when I was growing up "dating" was different than "going out." Confusing right? "Going out" was when some pre-pubescent dude with pegged pants and too much hairspray approached your locker and said, "So . . .uh, do you want to go out?" And you either said yes or no. You didn't actually GO anywhere, it was (as your daughters mentioned) more of a way to say "we like each other" and somewhat of a status at school as bf/gf. And yes they might meet up at school/church dances, talk on the phone, etc, but since it wasn't 1 on 1 (in a group or alone) it wasn't a date. I'm sure non-mormon couples went on dates and hung out more, but for my mormon friends who were "going out" with someone (I didn't have this particular problem in middle school) it was just more of a title. And my mormon friends made it quite clear to their knobby-kneed, hormonal counterparts that they weren't actually allowed to date until they were 16.

So DATING was when a guy called you up and asked you out, came to your house, picked you up (maybe in a group, maybe one on one) and the 2 of you went out together on a DATE.

For us there was a big difference in the whole "going out" phenomenon and being allowed to date. My personal take on it is if they really like each other they're going to find a way to hang out anyway--which is all they really want to do. I certainly don't want to come off as giving YOU advice since I have zero experience (and since you're like my online mom mentor) but fostering good relationships at a young age while still drawing appropriate lines to prevent dating seemed to work for a lot of my friends parents. Good luck!

Lena said...

I could have written Melissa's post. I did "go out with" boys but never told my parents because we weren't allowed to. I'm not looking forward to these times. I'll be watching to see how it all goes with you and others before me! No pressure!

Kimberly said...

~sigh~ I have so little to contribute here. Neil was my first serious boyfriend. Sad, eh?

My only advice is to make sure your daughters understand the "why" of the situation. They're old enough to be treated like they have brains in their heads, and their opinions should be heard and respected, even if not put into application, you know? They're more likely to be accepting of the rules if they understand the reasoning behind them.

Stacey Tate said...

Grateful to be Mormon had a link to your blog. I really enjoyed the YW posts. I heard this tip which sounds so logical (practical--not so sure). For 16 year olds, they recommended that for every date with the same boy, the next be with someone else. Does seem to motivate more dating experience.
I have an 11 and 10 so not there yet. All the best.

"Vern" said...

Ummm...I think I prefer listening to you work it out first and I'll just follow your lead. My daughter still thinks boys are "gross" and "annoying".

Janell said...

Hm. The numbers in my head are

First boyfriend - no earlier than 16 years old

First kiss - the parent has no control over this

First party with boys and girls - 3 years old

First party with boys and girls where parents aren't present 100% of the time supervising pre-planned games - 14 years old

First dance - 14 years old

First group-date - 16 years old

First "going-out" - 16 years old

First non-group date - 18 years old or high school graduation (whichever comes later)

Heather said...

I'm with Vern... good luck!

Sue said...

I can't even - this post is giving me hives. My girls will NEVER DATE and will NEVER WANT TO BE ALONE WITH A BOY. The end.

kristen said...

I think you should just lock your daughters in the basement until they turn 18.

I grew up with strict guidelines. My parents are very old-fashioned and follow Church policy and counsel to the 'T'. Dating was not allowed until 16; then it was double dating until 18. No boyfriends/girlfriends until 16. No dances until 14. If there was to be a mixed group activity before the age of 16, make sure there is an unequal number of boys vs. girls, so as to avoid any 'pairing off', etc. And my parents hated anyone girl calling a boy (unless it was to return a phone call, hw question, etc).

I didn't really date until I went to college. I didn't have a huge interest in it (that and I was shy, and there weren't many mormon boys).

It sounds like we as Mormons are strict on this, but I totally see the wisdom in the counsel we receive. Think about the age and emotional maturity that goes along with what we are admonished. The Brethren even advise that dating at 16 should be kept fun and light. No need for anything serious, and no need to rush into the whole dating scene. Teenagers really shouldn't be worrying about all the complications of relationships.

(Sorry, that was long and drawn out; sometimes you just start typing and your mind runs away with it....)

An Ordinary Mom said...

What a tough subject to answer?!?

I kind of liked not seriously dating until I got to college. I was just one of the guys in high school and that was perfect for me :) !!

so grateful to be Mormon! said...

we like to rib the girls that they "aren't allowed to date until they are married!"

this is so hard but you and i will get through this.

best to you hon, kathleen :)

ps. and i like how stacey poked her head in here, too, to see ya girl.

Two Princess Girls said...

As a mom to a very young teenager, this subject seems to have suddenly blossomed at our house. I can honestly tell you, I'd like to avoid it. However, that's not really fair to anyone. Many of my daughters friends are currently "going out" with boys. As you've stated earlier, there is no touching and in the case of my daughters friends there is no talking either. I can honestly say that I see the generation gap appearing before my eyes :-).

This may sound odd, but I blame the Disney Channel. Every show geared towards the Pre Teen crowd seems to be tacking these types of issues and as a result our children are growing up far to fast.

We've made an agreement that if someone asks her "out" that she needs to check with us first. Can you say, buy time?

Group & 1:1 dates will come much later. I'd like to say after college. That sounds reasonable, right?

JustRandi said...

Hmmm. I LOVE the comments. I really like the long ones,too. So don't ever worry about that. I mean, unless you're seriously rambling or something...

It's all an interesting dilimma, isn't it. I agree with Two princess girls - the media plays a HUGE role in the whole mix up. We try to limit that kind of TV time, but unfortunately you still have all the peers that watch countless hours, so the peer pressure is still there.

It's amazing how different every single child is. Even from the same family. I think Kim has a point in making sure the kids understand the WHY's. Even if they don't fully understand, they can at least get the basics.

Oh boy.

Sue said...

I just want you to know - I jinxed myself by leaving that comment yesterday. Today I heard Emma (4) tell Megan (6) that she had a boyfriend at pre-school named Tate who was "super cutie cutie." Luckily, my ever obedient Megan said, "You are too young for a boyfriend." At least one of them listens...

Anonymous said...

I really like miggys comment. Its so true, when some one askes you to go out, its more of a mutual agreement that you like each other. and it usually does not involve actually GOING any where.

Scuttle said...


I really have been thinking how would I answer, any differently than what has been posted already. Yes and No something wasn't quite right I couldn't spit it out ether so I just didn't until last night.

I am reading the book by Sheri Dew Called "No One Can Take Your Place" It is wonderful!

If you don't mind I'd like to give you 2 quotes from it. It might be a long Comment on your blog But You know I love ya and Hope it helps your Daughter.

"Elder Bruce R McConkie said that "to be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to take the Lord's side on every issue" ("Be Valiant in the Fight of Faith," 35). As a step toward great obedience, we would each do well to take inventory of where we stand on every issue about which the Lord or His servants have declared a position - everything from modesty to the precision with which we honor our temple covenants. A simple test applies to everything: Whose agenda does it support, the Lord's or the adversary's?"

"We are the only ones who can show our Young Men and Young Women that it is possible to live with purity in a polluted world. We are the only ones who can show them the purity is not prudish and that vulgarity is not funny. And we are the only ones who can show them that a women who has the Spirit with hew is absolutely radiant, and a man of God who honors the priesthood he holds is the finest example of manhood to be found."

The questions I have is, Where does your daughter stand? When she is listening to the spirit inside her what does it say? The Church has given us guidelines because we need them. Using those as the bottom line. Where does she truly want to be how far above does she really want or does she only have the strength to ride the fence. I think the question is more where does she stand and how can I help her honor the spirit that is with in her.

Love ya


Nancy Face said...

I have allowed parties with boys and girls at any age, but I am RIGHT THERE in the middle of it! My 12-rear-old son has been to parties at the homes of wonderful people, but they must not have been watching, because he would come home and tell me about boys and girls (his friends) that would sneak out on the porch to hold hands. He and I both agreed that was inappropriate, awkward and foolish! He just had a Halloween party last week, and only invited boys...perfect!

I agree with the logic of the idea that Stacey shared, but it might not be practical, since boys generally do the asking out on dates, and the girls cannot control who asks them (or when). My daughter had a boyfriend a few months before she turned 16, and she was so excited when the magical birthday arrived and she was allowed to go on a date with him. We did a lot of talking about avoiding steady dating with one boy, and I tried forcing this exact same idea on her, but the problem was that all the boys knew she had a boyfriend, and no one else would ask her on a date...at all. A girl's choice dance came up a month later, and I made her ask someone else...but he ended up being a jerk to her and she was miserable and cried. After that, I backed off from trying to control her so much. Her boyfriend just spent a lot of time at our house under my watchful eyes, haha! By the way, this same boy will be home from his mission in 3 months, and she STILL likes him...

Hope4Hannah said...

ok. So, now that our little pumpkin is 16 I think yes, dating is good. do it all the time, with lots of different guys for a while. Then after she has dated several different types of guys, then it would be ok for her to have a boyfriend. nothing really serious. only things like group dates and talking on the phone, and hanging out at school/church stuff. I think that would be actually a good thing because if she only ever keeps hopping from guy to guy how will she ever learn to have a somewhat stable relationship? cause if she doesn't, and then gets older and starts getting more serious with a nice young man it would be hard for her to keep that going as a normal healthy relationship ya know? one of my friends is having that sort of problem. I don't think the girl in question would have a problem with that, but its just somethin to think about i guess.

Lauren said...

Nancy speaks the truth!