Friday, March 4, 2016

No High School Dating Allowed?

We had successfully managed to avoid the dating phase of life with our first two children while in high school. (Well, Peach isn't quite finished high school yet, but close enough.) Nathanael starting dating in August just before he went to university. Peach continues to say, "I don't have time for that silly stuff!"

With child number three, it isn't proving quite as simple. Beans has always had male friends. It started way back in her home schooling days. Then, when she started in school in grade 5, she couldn't handle the girl drama and again found a male best friend. By grade eight though, she did have a number of close girl friends too. She also continues to maintain a friendship with another previously home schooled (girl) friend.

When she started grade nine she ended up with both boys and girls for friends. She still hates girl drama and thankfully her closest girl friend at school does too. :o)

Late this past autumn, a new male friend joined the group. He and Beans have become great friends. Very great friends. We as a family have had the opportunity to get to know him as well and we think he is a gem! So far though, we are still maintaining the idea that dating in high school is not a great idea. We have no absolute rules on this, but here are our reasons why:

1) We believe God has a special plan for each of our children. Some of our children might not ever need/want a life partner, some might meet theirs in their thirties, and some might meet theirs at thirteen. Believing that God is in control of each of our lives means that even if our child has met their life partner at thirteen (I wouldn't say that they or we would necessarily recognize it at such a young age) it doesn't mean they need to date. We trust that if  God has chosen this individual for them then that person will still be the right person at age twenty three, or thirty three, or even seventy three, so there is no rush to start dating super young.

2) We want our children to know who they are before they fall into a trap of defining themselves by what/how another person feels about them. They need to have a strong relationship with the Lord. They should know their own strengths/weaknesses, their gifts and talents as well as what they are and are not capable of. Eg. We have some children that need a lot of sleep and others who can get away with very little.

3) Dating -- especially often, allows other friendships to fall by the wayside. It is important to us that our children maintain their friendships throughout the high school years as some of these friendships will last a lifetime and even if they don't, they will likely learn valuable lessons from them.

4) The purity factor. Yes, I am talking sex here. The longer a teen waits to date, the less chance of a sexual relationship occurring before marriage. Of course I may be out to lunch here, but in our home, we regularly have discussions about, dating, faith, purity, marriage, etc. With age comes wisdom. Yes? That's why the Engineer and I continually talk with our children on these things -- especially in today's sex saturated society.

Now that I've written our reasons why we haven't allowed our children to date in high school (besides the fact that until now it hasn't been an issue), I guess I'm going to have to write a post about what we're going to do if/when we change our mind on this subject. However, more research and reading is required before I write that post.:o)

3 comments:

  1. Deborah! Love this post!

    My parents very much agree with you. Although (like you & the Engineer) they have no absolute, set in stone, rules about this - They prefer that we don't date in high school. While I had very close male friends in high school, and even got to know a couple personally, it never led to a dating relationship. However, my sister has dated in high school, and her boyfriend(s) asked my parents permission beforehand. Unfortunately, neither relationship worked out or lasted very long for that matter.

    So I very much agree with your reasons and even if minds are changed along the way, as each child is unique, then I don't find anything wrong in that. I believe you're doing a great favor (don't know if that's the right word) for your children by protecting them and not letting them get hurt/used. Like you said, it's good for teenagers/young adults to know who they are as a person before someone else is so invested in their lives.

    You're a great mom!
    -Michlyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deborah, good job talking with your kids about all kinds of stuff and helping them to protect their hearts before they are ready to look for a spouse. My husband and I met at the tender age of 11 and began dating just before I turned 16. We tell our kids often that is NOT the best path to a healthy marriage, but I'm so thankful that I didn't give my heart (or any other part of me!) to anybody but my husband. Our take on the whole dating thing? If you aren't ready to think about marriage, then you aren't ready to think about dating!

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  2. Great posts!
    I especially love the no absolutes part because we all know that each child is unique and each situation is different.
    I can't believe Peach is in high school! Crazy! where does the time go??
    Also, I say, the longer my girl does not have this issue the better. Everyday without a boyfriend in my house is a good day : ) One less thing to worry about through the teen years...

    ReplyDelete

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