Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tell Me Tuesday... Wrapping Up the Paths Series

*Note: this entry is coming to you courtesy the pre-scheduled post feature- I'm not really posting this at 1:36 am Tuesday... I'm actually probably asleep trying to recover from the first day of VBS. Also, I feel the need to apologize for stalking blogs this week- can't seem to muster up the energy to comment- but please know I'm reading and lovin' ya'all... and will be back in the saddle soon! Blessings!

It's been a while since I've given the Paths Series any attention... and I totally want to go back to it- but first, I need your opinions. You see, I haven't all the way made my decisions about dating for the HisGirl kids. So, now's your chance... Tell me, what do you think? Do you/Are you going to... let your kids date? When? Restrictions? Rules? What were your rules as a teen? Were they effective? Fair? I can't wait to see what you have to say!

Commit everything you do to the Lord
Trust him, and he will help you.
Psalm 37:5


mer@lifeat7000feet said...

I haven't given it a ton of thought either, but I know I will highly encourage group dating.

John was really the only guy that I dated. I had several dates in high school, but nothing long term. I did, however, have a large group of friends from church and we did things as a big group 90% of the time.

It was great for so many reasons, but the biggest, I think, was that the guys in our group were really solid and set the bar high for me. They modeled godly behavior, treated me with respect, and gave me hope that there really were more guys like them out there. And to top it all off, we always had a TON of fun because our group was so big.

Have fun at VBS today! It's exhausting, but it's such an important ministry.

Earen said...

Oh, what a hard thing for a parent...the dating years. I'm not sure how we personally are going to approach this seeing as I have 3 boys & it was different for me growing up because I was a girl. My parents were pretty protective of me. I couldn't date until I was 16 & then when 16 rolled around I could only go out on group dates. My daddy was extremely protective of me, which I didn't always like at the time, but am very thankful now. He wasn't only trying to protect my heart, but my body. The rules later were that the guy would have to ask my dad if he could take me out. But I didn't have my first date until I was 23 & out of the house, so that didn't really apply anymore. When I started dating my husband I realize how physically hard it was to remain strong & realized that eventhough there were times in which I was frustrated with my parents about it, God used them to really protect me because I'm not sure how strong I would have been. So, there's the short version of my story....

Gretchen said...

Oy veh! Dating!

I'm not positive--this needs a lot of prayer, but I think I'll encourage group dates for as long as possible, and then probably allow single dating at 16. But my daughter is 10 and my son is 12. I'll probably change my mind to allowing single dates at age 25 by the time she hits her teens. ;0)

hsmomma5 said...

Hmm...this is a tough one.

Our son just turned 16 and though he is "interested" ('sniffing the perfume' as his orthodontist calls it) he is not yet ready to actually date. But I have been dealing, at various times, with girls calling him since he was in the fifth grade. I finally just had to tell one little girl that we just really didn't believe in girls calling boys and that if my son wanted to talk to her he would call her. (I know this sounds harsh, but there is also a lot more to the story...).

Anyway, besides our 16 y.o. we have a 13 y.o. girl and boys 9, 11 (as of Saturday) and 11 years 11 months (today!). My husband and I both feel that until they are old enough to consider marriage, there is really no point in dating. Really though, I think it will kind of be on a case by case basis. But the one "rule" is that unless you are ready to support a family (because as hard as we try with our children, things sometimes happen) there just really isn't any real need to date. I think group dating might be fun for them though if the opportunity presents itself.

My parents rules for me dating were not as strict. I went out on my first "alone" date at 15 and the guy was 19. Looking back, I see that was a really bad idea. I guess my parents really trusted me and though the outcome could have been disastrous, it wasn't, thank goodness. I was pretty mature and always hung out with older kids. But that doesn't mean I will use those rules for my kids...

Scrapper Mom said...

I've always had a problem with the assumption that every kid gets a car and the priveledge to date at the magical age of 16. Why does it have to be 16? I think it should depend on every individual maturity level. For example, My son will be 18 in just 3 months and he has just gone on his 1st one on one date..and we just bought him a car this past April (He was 17 1/2) with restrictions. I have always encouraged lots of activities (sports, etc.) in his life that pretty much kept his calendar filled and when he had spare time, we encouraged group outings. Especially with church youth groups, or at least a group of guys that might "meet up with a few friend girls" at the movies or something. You can always encourage "long distance' relationships. Why? because he felt like he had a "girlfriend" but it was "safe".

The only other advice I can give to you is just always be on top of things. I keep tabs on my son 24/7even now (I even have his facebook password, that's my rule)...and although I know it drives him crazy, I know that sometimes
"love" can cloud our judgment. (been there, done that).

And finally, His Girl, we have to just raise our children in the nuture and admonition of the Lord and pray every time they leave our sight, they will remember what we have taught them. Trust Me. I am going through this very thing right now and it's not easy. With my son and this girl (who btw is older) it is an internal issue with me every time they leave the house. Good luck!

care-in said...

I can't wait to hear the dating thing seeing as we'll go through it twice.

care-in said...

Just wanted to add that I was not allowed to call boys and looking back I like that rule. I see so many girls searching for attention where ever they can get it and I think calling boys could be one aspect...a small one maybe but still.

Suzanne said...

With our oldest daughter (now 24), we let her go on double dates at 15 and then dates alone with boys at 16. That worked fine with her because she was a very compliant child and has always had a really good head on her shoulders. It drove me crazy though..waiting for her to get home from those dates.

Nowadays though, with a 16 yr. old girl and a 14 yr. old boy, I am totally for doing things on a case by case basis. It depends on the person they will be wanting to date, the maturity of said child, and how their behavior has been recently (more defiance in the home says to me there might be more defiance outside the home too).

I'm really thankful at this point that my 16 yr. old daughter isn't much into the dating thing because I'm so not ready for her to be into that.

My 14 yr. old son, however, has already been on a couple of "single dates" where I've driven them to the movies or the mall and picked them up in a few hours. A big reason for that is that I really like the girl he's dating. I worked at their school last year and she just seems to be such a "good girl". If T were wanting to go out with one of his previous girlfriends, I'd be MUCH less likely to let him go.

Most importantly, you teach them what God wants for their lives, pray that they take in your words and His Word, and pray that God will put others with the same values into their lives.

My Oh My said...

Still praying about this one. Our daughter is only 6 and our son is only 9... this is what my teenage rules were (keep in mind, I was the last of 7, so my parents may have been more flexible by this time) 14-15yrs. group dating, 16 yrs. double date (usually with my twin brother in tow) and at 17 I could single date. Now was this good for me... probably not, and I will probably be a little more strict with my daughter (I wish she had a twin brother:)... I guess we will have to see what God wants for us when we get there. YIKES!!!!! I'm on my knees right now, thanks for the thought provoking prayer opportunites :)

lisasmith said...

I am so coming back to get caught up! And, to read these comments on dating. Ugh! It makes me so glad my oldest is only 8 and sad she's already 8!!!

Have a great day, Amber.
I'm praying for the VBS kiddos.


Jenster said...

Well, you know, I'm there right now. My son turned 16 in April and has had a girlfriend for a year. Todd and I are friends with her parents and we share the same beliefs and values (they go to our church). The kids have gone to a couple of dances together and some chaperoned birthday parties. Taylor has done stuff with Kristen's family and Kristen has done stuff with our family. They're never alone in either our house or her house. In fact, they're never alone. lol

They are both involved in student leadership at church and do a lot of volunteer things together. They are both committed Christians and every night Taylor reads some scripture to Kristen over the phone and then they discuss it (isn't that cute??)

Neither of them have their license yet so they're dependent on their parents to get them anywhere. They do go to the movies sometimes and to the mall every now and again, but mostly they're either with one of the families or with the student leadership kids.

At this point I am very comfortable with them "dating" (whenever they can start driving) because they've built a lot of trust in me. Still, however, they're not allowed at home alone. I realize things can still happen, but I'm not going to make it easy! LOL

They both also have matching purity bracelets and are part of a group of kids who are very vocal about saving themselves for marriage. I also realize that this isn't airtight insurance, but I do know their hearts are in the right place.

Oh. And I pray a lot.

Now my daughter? She's getting close to 14 and has had "boyfriends", but will not be dating any time soon. I just pray that when she does get to that phase it will be like Taylor and Kristen. Of course, I dread if/when they ever break up...

Vindiciti said...

I know, this is ages late. I figured I'd post for personal amusement.

First, I didn't date because God blessed me with boy-repellent everything. I was 'one of the guys'. I didn't date until 10th grade, and the boy tried to french kiss me on our first date in the back of my dad's truck when my dad was driving and my little brother was watching. I freaked out and dumped him. I didn't date again until almost the end of 11th grade, when I was 16. It was rather serious, but I saw that he was going to cheat on me or dump me. I dumped him first, when I was 17. Then I dated and married my ex-husband. No advice there. Not really any dating rules, because I didn't date.

As far as rules for MY kids, well, my husband and I like S4J's ideas. By the time we need to apply them, she'll probably have already done some work on simultaneous rounds 2 and 3. Luckily, three of our four children were blessed with attraction-repellent as well. Our daughter wasn't, but she was blessed with a daddy who has an incredible mean look (but an amazingly sweet heart) and THREE older brothers. Between God, Daddy, and her brothers, we're praying that boys are terrified of her until we find one for her to be betrothed....ah...every mother's dream.