My Daughter Has to Understand She's NEVER Dating, Right?


teens kissYesterday I had a very upsetting conversation with my daughter. It started out with her saying, "Mom, in six years I'll be able to drive." "Yep," I said, cautiously. "I'll probably have a boyfriend in, like, five years though," she continued. "Maybe," I allowed. "You had a lot of boyfriends, didn't you, Mom?" she asked. Uh-oh. Called out by my own kid! What to say, what to do?

The truth is, yes, I did have a lot of boyfriends. And it's my own hard-won dating wisdom coupled with stories like the one about 18-year-old Massachusetts teen Lauren Astley who was killed by her ex-boyfriend over July 4th weekend that make me afraid to let my daughter have ANY. Boyfriends, that is. Ever.

What scares me is that teens have all the grown-up body parts and hormones going for them, but none of the common sense or good judgment that we (supposedly) acquire with age ... it's a recipe for disaster. I didn't fully realize the gravity of the situation until a few months ago when I had to make a visit to the high school I graduated from (long, unrelated story short, I was there as a reporter to interview a teacher).

As I walked down the familiar halls, the memories came flooding back ... that's the corner where I used to hide with my boyfriend and make out ... there's the locker of that girl he turned out to be sleeping with behind my back ... that's the bathroom my friend took a pregnancy test in.

Then I took a closer look at the kids rushing past me, their arms full of books and faces full of angst, and suddenly it hit me: Oh my god, these are children! Big tall children, yes, but children! That means my friends and I were children too when we were doing all of those very adult things we obviously weren't ready to handle at all. But no way anybody could've told me that at the time -- I was too headstrong, passionate, and ignorant to understand that I didn't have the slightest idea what I was doing when it came to boys (or anything else, really).

I know my daughter will feel exactly the same way when she hits her teens.

And that is why I will be sending her off to become a nun shortly after her 13th birthday.

Are you scared to let your daughter start dating?


Image via Karoly Czifra/Flickr



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maryb... marybess20

Oh my goodness! Now im terrified....i have 2 little girls, ages 3 and 1....these are the things that scare the crap out of my hubby and i. We just try not to think about it, because theyre so young, but the day will come....

Opal_... Opal_skye86

Well, just don't think that over-protective barrier is going to keep her from doing much. It's funny, my parents were that way, but they weren't, and although I did as much or more stupid shit as a teen than others, I had been taught enough sense not to get pregnant or killed or jailed, although I had scares with each. I had a boyfriend that my parents never knew about (until a few years who..), I snuck out, I knew bad people and did lots of things I shouldn't have, but while my parents trusted me, there was no line of open communication. I couldn't talk to them without feeling judged,and I was raised thinking that I always had to be perfect. And it made me hate myself, and so I acted out behind the back of society, until my hormones got themselves in check, and I stopped thinking as a child, but as an adult. (I've always been mature for my age and much too smart for my own good..)

Opal_... Opal_skye86

BTW, I'm really not trying to scare you. My point was, confidence from parent(s) begets confidence in children, and the harder you grip, the harder an animal in a trap will struggle. Help them, but realize you are on the sideline of their game, and that you can tell them everything they need to know, but they still may screw up the plays... just make sure they know that you still love them in the end no matter what they do/choose. That's probably all that ever saved me. :)

shiva... shivasgirl

homeschool then college, my daughter wants to be a surgeon and i have told her repeatedly that she will have no time for boys with that goal. We also do not allow our daughters to date in our culture (Traditional Hindu) and she knows that too

Kaila... KailaCheyenne

I'm 16 and I'm afraid to date. Afraid to, don't want to, doesn't interest me. I don't want to be that girl crying her eyes out over a breakup. Nor do I want to be that girl crying my eyes out over an unexpected pregnancy. My parents just gave me permission to date, but they're not strict at all. He has to meet them, they usually know his parents (small town) and then he can take me out.

Samal... Samallama

I think teen dating is scary, but a part of life. It gives experience for the adult world. Talk to your girl about things like boys and dating and be there for her when the time comes. Help her be prepared, but don't shelter her from it. 


But what do I know? I don't even have teens. 

ingra... ingram.ashley63

You have to trust your kid. Being overly protective to the point of not letting her date EVER is going to make her run in the complete opposite direction from you. Being too lienient is just as bad. There's a happy medium. I know one day my little girl is going to date and I'm going to let her but there are going to be major rules and boundaries that come with the privilege

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