Tommorow night a boy will be joining us for dinner. Not just a boy as in one of our sons’ friends, but a boy that our daughter is “talking to”. A boy that we have just barely met.
We’ve known this day would come. And the reality of its occurrence has been closing in. We shouldn’t be surprised by it; after all, our daughter is a sophomore. Her friends are beginning to drive and with the freedom a driver’s license brings, the dating game also begins.
So the dating topic has been floating around our house lately. It’s a topic that’s not going away… nor should it. It’s an issue, we as parents, must involve ourselves in and not ignore or abdicate our responsibility simply because it is awkward to discuss with our teens.
In preparing for what dating might look like I’ve asked friends who have been-there-done-that. I’ve read books and blogs. And my husband, daughter and I have began discussing some of these questions:
- What should dating look like?
- What should it not?
- What is permissible in our house?
- How can we best protect our daughter?
- Will she embrace our rules and understand the whys?
There are no easy clear-cut answers. But, I do know this – she (and her brothers) are our most precious possessions, if you will. Thus we must take dating and the implications of what it looks like seriously.
Therefore, first step in our house- we must get to know the boy. In order for him to date her, he needs to date us first…which is the reason we have a boy coming for dinner!
We are all a little nervous, and I don’t know who is feeling it the most… I’m sure he is; I know my daughter is! I mean, she does have two wild-card younger brothers and a pastor-dad who doesn’t tend to hold back! For years, she’s even heard him say that if any boy did anything to his daughter he would have a great prison ministry – yikes!
As for my husband and me, we are a nervous too. We’ve never done this. On one hand, I want to make a good impression so we don’t embarass our daughter more than she already will be. On the other hand, maybe if we make a bad impression, he will run and we can defer this dating a bit longer 🙂
No, that’s not right. We only have her under our roof for a couple more years and we need to “shepherd” her here like we’ve strived to do in every other area of parenting.
So if you think of us all squirming in our chairs tomorrow night, say a prayer. We need wisdom and grace and the freedom to fail as parents. We need her to see that in the ways we may seems strict, old-school or just plain ridiculous is because we love her too much not to be. And while we on our end seek her best, I pray that somewhere out there the parents of our kids’ future spouses are seeking to do the same.
Now on to other important (related) issues…should I serve something challenging to eat so we can check out his manners under pressure too?!
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