Parental views on allowing teens to be in a "serious" relationship in grade school.
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  1. #1
    FB Moderator Bamabuzzard's Avatar
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    Parental views on allowing teens to be in a "serious" relationship in grade school.

    I've got one daughter who is a teenager entering her first year of HS. My wife and I started having the discussion three years ago when she entered middle school about how we were going to handle "liking boys", "dating", "going together", being in exclusive relationships etc. while in grade school.

    My brother in law and his wife have already gone through this stage of life with their kids (boys and girls) and their "rule" was no exclusive relationships or "dating" in high school. That it was okay to like someone, hang out with them in groups of friends. But as far as getting into the traditional HS dating/"going together" relationship and all that normally comes with it. That was a no go. Their reasons were they felt like it was too much of a distraction in other areas of life, and in a time when they were already learning to deal with all kind of new emotions driven by new chemicals (testosterone and estrogen) in their bodies. That "serious relationships" (in the sense and context of the HS experience) were simply not healthy during this time of their lives. In their words "they're simply not ready for serious relationships". As we discuss things like this with friends of ours whose kids are in the same place in life as ours. We're learning that more and more parents are doing this. Not saying it's right or wrong, doesn't have it's pro's and con's. Just something we're finding as we're about to enter this stage of life with our first high schooler. I'd love to get some thoughts, opinions and personal experiences from some of you who've already gone through this stage with yours or are currently going through it. Parenting, one of the hardest jobs on the planet. LOL!
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    Super Moderator NationalTitles17's Avatar
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    Re: Parental views on allowing teens to be in a "serious" relationship in grade schoo

    My daughter went out with one boy in high school. I pretended to like him even though I couldn't stand him. It didn't quite work like I wanted. Long story short they did eventually break up.

    If I had it to do over again I don't think Id do much different. We set limits and she mostly abided by them. I figured by that age if what I'd taught her hadn't stuck in her brain we'd just have to live with it. I did have a talk with both her and the boy.
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    Re: Parental views on allowing teens to be in a "serious" relationship in grade schoo

    One of the issues confronting those who enter serious|exclusive relationships before they are ready for marriage is that people mature at different rates. Two people who may be somewhat compatible at 15, may not be at say 18. I.e., one may advance physically, socially, mentally, etc. beyond the other. In that case, one of two outcomes is likely: A heart-rending, gut-wrenching breakup, probably leaving the rejected party deeply scarred; even worse, they consummate the relationship, heading for disaster.

    For those who are believers, it's Scriptural (2 Cor 6:14-15), thus so important for them to be spiritually compatible. If not, heartache and a wasted life often lie ahead.

    I will play on your very true statement, "Parenting, one of the hardest jobs on the planet.", and say, parenting, the most important job on earth.

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    Re: Parental views on allowing teens to be in a "serious" relationship in grade schoo

    We are about there, age-wise, too. I think your B-I-L's advice is sage and the direction we're moving toward, as well. You're responsible for you and your family and everyone else's opinions don't really matter one iota, IMHO, if they disagree

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    Re: Parental views on allowing teens to be in a "serious" relationship in grade schoo

    Mrs. Basket Case and I never had kids. So I can’t speak from the perspective of a dad. Only as an uncle and interested observer of a lot of ways to raise a child.

    In my observation, parents who try to be best friends with their children fail at both the stated goal and in creating young adults ready to take on the world, with all its opportunities and imperfections.

    In my observation, youngsters crave appropriate structure, and both love and respect adults that provide it. In the moment, they may scream the contrary to heaven, but it’s noise. They want the structure.

    Regarding the specific question as to whether to allow exclusive romantic relationships before college, you can exert only so much control. If she wants to see only one boy, it’s virtually impossible to force her to see others. (Edit: You can limit the time she spends with one boy, but you can't realistically force her to see others. As you note below about your BIL and SIL's successes, you can put the child in a position of having to deceive to get around the time restrictions. But if you've done the right things up until that point, she's not likely to do that.) You have to rely on the job you did in the previous 15 years.

    If you enforced loving and appropriate structure from infancy to age 15 (and by that, I mean gradually increasing degrees of independence, as their own decisions indicate readiness, and appropriate consequences for the inevitable times that they get out of line), you have nothing to worry about. Emphasizing appropriate consequences here. I've seen parents go overboard both ways -- overly lax response / ignoring the undesirable behavior, and punishment that is out of proportion to the offense. Ironically, they have the same result....either way, the child loses respect for the parent, and is more likely to step out of line in the future.

    If you didn’t do that, anything you say now won’t register.

    In other words, if your daughter is already 15, your job is largely done. That doesn’t mean you can sit back and suddenly let her do what she wants....she is 15, with a 15-year-old’s decision-making processes.

    At this stage, she should need a safety net that you operate in the background so that ideally she doesn’t even know it exists.

    But if, at age 15, she still needs a cage to save her from herself, it’s way too late. Nothing's going to change whether she’s 15 or 25 or 50.

    Again, I’ve never been a dad. Just what I’ve observed for 60 years.
    Last edited by 4Q Basket Case; July 17th, 2019 at 08:13 AM.
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    Re: Parental views on allowing teens to be in a "serious" relationship in grade schoo

    My wife and I took polar opposite paths in the dating arena while in HS. I dated the same girl (a few short breakups along the way) my entire HS tenure. Whereas my wife didn't date anyone (by choice) and concentrated on her school work and hanging out with and enjoying her friends. She "liked" a lot of boys but from a far, did the school girl flirting thing. But never got into a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. She would go on a date here and there. But told the guy up front that she wasn't looking for a relationship but didn't mind going out with him and hanging out. She said that usually guaranteed that would be the first and last date the guy asked her to go on. LOL!

    I look back and if I'm honest, I wish I would have done the same thing. I wasted a lot of time dealing with and worrying with emotional petty relationship "junk" at an age and time in my life when I probably should have enjoyed those precious four years with friends. I wasn't mature enough nor ready to deal with what comes with a relationship. I definitely could have put more time into my school work. I know if I had it to do over again, I would go the path my wife took and enjoy that time of my life a different way.
    Last edited by Bamabuzzard; July 16th, 2019 at 11:42 PM.
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    Re: Parental views on allowing teens to be in a "serious" relationship in grade schoo

    Quote Originally Posted by BamaNation View Post
    We are about there, age-wise, too. I think your B-I-L's advice is sage and the direction we're moving toward, as well. You're responsible for you and your family and everyone else's opinions don't really matter one iota, IMHO, if they disagree
    My B-I-L and S-I-L had such success with their three kids that it will probably be what my wife and I do with our kids. Sure, if the teenager is hell bent on having an exclusive dating relationship. They will. But they will have to knowing they will have to disobey their parents and constantly have to lie them to do it. Which, IMO, if we as parents have done our jobs, they will have a hard time continually having to lie and deceive us. They may not like our decision but ultimately will respect it and carry it out. My nephews and niece (who are all now of HS) actually have admitted that their parents doing that took a lot of pressure off of them to feel like they had to have a boyfriend or girlfriend. It actually was a social weight taken off their shoulders. Go figure that! LOL!
    Last edited by Bamabuzzard; July 17th, 2019 at 07:44 AM.
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    BamaNation Hall of Fame GrayTide's Avatar
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    Re: Parental views on allowing teens to be in a "serious" relationship in grade schoo

    Wish I could offer some sage advice, Buzz, but as my wife says, "if there was a reality show for the world's worst parents we would have won hands down".
    "My momma always said you got to put the past behind you before you can move on." Forrest Gump

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    FB Moderator Bamabuzzard's Avatar
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    Re: Parental views on allowing teens to be in a "serious" relationship in grade schoo

    Quote Originally Posted by GrayTide View Post
    Wish I could offer some sage advice, Buzz, but as my wife says, "if there was a reality show for the world's worst parents we would have won hands down".
    You'd have plenty of competition, LOL! My wife and I feel like that a lot. I know I do. Many times I think to myself, here I am supposed to mold and raise these kids, set an example for them to follow. Yet, I've got so many areas of my life that still need "fixing". A lot of times it feels like the blind leading the blind. LOL!
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    BamaNation Hall of Fame 92tide's Avatar
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    Re: Parental views on allowing teens to be in a "serious" relationship in grade schoo

    Quote Originally Posted by Bamabuzzard View Post
    You'd have plenty of competition, LOL! My wife and I feel like that a lot. I know I do. Many times I think to myself, here I am supposed to mold and raise these kids, set an example for them to follow. Yet, I've got so many areas of my life that still need "fixing". A lot of times it feels like the blind leading the blind. LOL!
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    Re: Parental views on allowing teens to be in a "serious" relationship in grade schoo

    I have all the answers for other people’s kids. For mine I don’t have a clue.

    My 11 yo (12 in September) hasn’t expressed an interest in boys yet but she has hit puberty so I know it’s right around the corner.

    My my parents didn’t let us date until 16 and then it had to be a double date. That worked pretty well but it was a much more innocent time.

    Some of this is a crap shoot. The Lord doesn’t make all of these kids the same.

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    BamaNation All-American AlistarWills's Avatar
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    Re: Parental views on allowing teens to be in a "serious" relationship in grade schoo

    Iím liking the idea of no relationships till they graduate. I have one that has finished and didnít date. Heís had his eye on a girl for years but she was always taken. I have one turning 16 in a few weeks. Heís got friends with girlfriends. One is pushing/trying to help everyone in the group to get a girl. I found out heís abused his parents trust and is sexually active. Heís now encouraging the others. Iíve let other parents in the group know and theyíve talked to their boys and the boys admit that itís going on. The parents would be upset about this but we canít tell them, because they are also the type that would never believe sweet, innocent lil Johnny would dare do something like that. These kids have so much in their face these days to become sexually active and they are not mentally ready to deal with it. Iím thinking the best thing is to not let them have the chance and to guide them toward not getting in a solid relationship at such a young age.

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    Re: Parental views on allowing teens to be in a "serious" relationship in grade schoo

    My niece that I bragged on about getting a scholarship to SCAD is now engaged to her high school boyfriend, is no longer going to SCAD and is going to now live in the nothing area she has always lived in with a 2 year degree in art from Wallace State.
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