Teen Dating

Let me give you a quick review. I have four children. I’m divorced. I prefer to say we are co-parenting rather than single parenting. I refer to my children collectively as the fan4 or fantastik4. The oldest will be 17 soon and I lovingly refer to him as The Teenager. Second up is my daughter who is now 14 and she is my Honeygirl. The third one, who has the qualities of the attention grabbing middle child, is 11 and referred to as Little Dude. The last one in our line up is my baby boy who is nine. He acts like he’s 39 most of the time. He’s the self appointed referee for Little Dude and often finds himself blowing the whistle, throwing flags and explaining the rules of life to him. From now on we shall refer to him as Ref. I determined early on to protect their identities since I share things that occur in their lives. 

Dating… (Insert eye roll and a deep sigh) (after I typed that I realized I should use some really funny meme but since I don’t have a stock pile of them to flip through and select from I’m using good old fashioned words) I will not lie, I’m not a fan of teen dating. After polling my daughter and her previous bff, we determined that from middle school to high school the average relationship lasts about four weeks. We have six six week grading session during the school year. By the time they begin middle school in sixth grade until they graduate they could potentially have “dated” 63 people at the rate of nine per year. 

But what is dating at 11 or even at 16? 

When I think about my daughter and her friend excitedly discussing dating and boys in general it made me sad and a bit anxious. 

Sad because the friend felt incomplete and was upset with her parents because they wouldn’t allow her to date. She really wanted her very own boyfriend. This disagreement sparked a rebellion and she began running away. My daughter has been asking me about dating for years. She asks her dad and me to define the timeline and allowed activities. His standard answer is 36. Mine is based on maturity and decision making ability. She is enamored with dating. I refer to it as the Disney effect. After watching those popular teen shows she thinks dating has perfect lighting, a laugh track, great clothes, hair and make up as well as a great ending. Periodically I like to dash their dating dreams on the rocks of reality and talk about kissing, hugging, touching and what if that’s not what you want? What’s your exit plan? How do you protect yourself from a person who may overpower or manipulate you into something you aren’t ready to do?

I was anxious because a lot of adults don’t have the cognitive ability to select a good partner and remain committed. If after years of education, reading articles, blogs, after video viewing and talking to other people we as adults make questionable relationship choices then how are they expected to make sound decisions at such a young age? Each dating partner is given a tiny piece if not large chunk of their hearts. They aren’t looking for spouses. They are looking for good times. They aren’t searching for anything deep and long lasting. It’s fleeting and shallow. 

Exhibit 1- the teenager went on a first date to the movies recently with some girl he met through a friend. He asked her to be his girlfriend the next day. She asked him to join her at church on Sunday, meet her parents and have lunch with her family afterwards. She prepped him on what her parents would say and how to respond. I texted his dad with my concerns of how quickly this was moving. She broke up with him the next day. 

I’m glad I never really learned her name or got attached. I don’t even want to know the newest interest’s name until they make it past the four week mark. 

I’m not into the whole bring people home so I can meet them thing. My two brothers ruined that for me. They brought everybody by the house. It wasn’t something special it was normal. I have a male friend who whole heartedly disagrees with me. He wants to meet any and everybody his daughter dates. The one time he and is ex found out she had a boyfriend they planned a family dinner and invited him over. They broke up after the invite but before dinner. 

I understand the desire to have somebody to call your very own.  Who doesn’t want their very own George or squishy? I have friends who met the loves of their lives in high school. It happens. Is it possible to somehow bypass the other 62 people to get to that one? Yes, it is. Serial dating does not have to become their norm neither does looking for someone to define or complete them. 

How are you helping your teen manuver through the obstacle dating course?

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A Woman’s Virtue

Back in March, there was a report of a young man who was shot and killed while standing in a female’s bedroom. This was the bedroom of the shooter’s daughter. The father asked a couple of questions, the young man reached for something, the father shot him. When she was initially questioned by her father, the daughter said she did not know the young man.
Deep sigh.
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/03/13/houston-dad-fatally-shoots-teen-inside-daughters-room-report-says/

When I first saw this article I pulled my oldest two children aside and spoke to them about a woman’s (female’s) virtue. The Teenager was 14 and Honeygirl was 11. This article broke my heart for all involved but created an opportunity for some real conversations between them and me.

I told them what happened according to the article. Then I went on to explain a woman’s virtue. You see, a woman, girl, female will do or say anything to protect her perceived virtue. She will lie, deny, accuse or blame if needed.

Right around this time, the Teenager had done something immature to one of his female friends. He unknowingly embarrassed her in front of her mother and siblings. She quit speaking to him after that incident. We talked through the scenario and I explained his missteps. He created an awkward moment for her in front of her family. Her virtue wasn’t at stake but it was a good lead in to our conversation. She may have reacted differently if her family hadn’t been there but they were.

During our conversation about a woman’s virtue I said, it is your job not to put yourself in a position with a girl when afterwards, she has to lie, is embarrassed or feels ashamed. In secret, she may allow you to do anything to her but when people find out, she will feel the need to protect her virtue. She will choose¬†her virtue over you going to jail or losing your life. Most girls don’t want anybody to know they go all the way or even part of the way, especially not their dad. My advice to my son, if you can’t walk through the front door of her house, don’t go. If you need to wait until her parents are asleep to meet up with her, don’t go. Now I understand getting caught up in the moment and the excitement that goes along with being invited into a girl’s room. I get it. But understand the risks. It’s not worth being accused of rape, breaking and entering, and it’s not worth your future for a moment of pleasure. I also advised him not to kiss and tell. Let her keep her perceived virtue.

To my daughter I said, don’t lie. Own your actions and decisions. If you don’t want anybody else to know, don’t commit the action then there is nothing to tell. I explained the ramifications of a lie to a young man’s life and his future.

I would love to have my children remain pure until marriage but just in case the offer is too good to turn down, I want them to understand the consequences. It could be a matter of life or death.

Hormel Rev Wrap: Fieldgoal


“Hungry is never letting anything stand in the way of your dreams.”
Have you seen this commercial? The first time I saw it I had concerns. I understand motivation. I understand wanting to be the best. I understand marketing techniques. I understand it’s football season and living in the south, I definitely understand the intensity of all things football. What I don’t understand is creating a commercial that shows what appears to be a teenager breaking into a stadium to work on kicking a 68 yard field goal.
“…never let anything stand in the way of your dreams” not even a locked gate or a tall fence or laws against breaking and entering.