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What is Dating?



That seems like a simple enough question…but sometimes as a parent it can be a question that turns your world upside down; or so you think.

Growing up my mother was “old school” no boyfriend till it was serious, which to her meant close to marriage age. Unrealistic to say the least, I mean all I wanted was to go to the movies or hang out in the park or a museum. Who was thinking of marriage at age 13 or even 15? Some of my friends on the other hand their moms were fine with them having boyfriends at 15 or 16 years old. Since I didn't have those options, I did things behind my mother’s back. I would stay after school late and say I was working on school projects, or at the library. I would say I was at a friend’s house but instead be at the park or at the movies. Harmless fun and small fibs but still deceitful none the less.

Since my mother was so ridiculous in her ways I of course chose to go the opposite direction.

I raised my daughter always knowing it was just as fine to have male friends as it was having females. She was aware that it was normal to like boys or girls as she got older and that if by age 13 she thought she liked someone that it was fine but she was not going to be allowed to go places alone or to get hung up on labels. She could go out as friends in a group to the movies, park etc.

Now I was not naive to think that at that age they may not be exploring just as we did in our time. I was just straight forward with my expectations and she knew it.

By the time my daughter was in H.S. she had several boys interested in her at different times. I just reinforced what I taught her years before. Enjoy the company, respect yourself and easy on the labels. The more you teach, the more you gain trust, the more they share.

Dating has different levels and degrees. Trust and believe all children do not have the same definition of dating so allow your children to guide you in their mindset by asking questions and being open.
Remember you were once that age too!!!

I am including two (2) links that touch on this matter. Let’s keep the conversation going?  What do you think? Share your experiences and comments, would love to hear.

http://www.cafemom.com/group/33200/forums/read/19042444/Is_13_too_young_for_dating
http://www.cafemom.com/group/advice/forums/read/18978391/Dating_Age

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