I escaped it for 67 years of parenthood, but the odds were always stacked against me. I have two beautiful and intelligent daughters, and eventually a boy smart enough to see it was going to come calling. We ve raised them to seek their identity in the things that matter and not in the superficial, so they are somewhat intimidating to young men. Good! But sooner or later a boy of equal substance was going to show up, and now he has. Do I even have dating rules ready? I d better. My daughter and her boyfriend spend almost every free moment they have in our house.
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They both have busy schedules, but if they aren t learning or working, they are in our home. They turn on the music and sing, dance, and make a bunch of the healthy-type of food that is so popular today. It s all pretty cute. Interestingly, this young man is aggressive in his desire for me to know him and vice versa. This isn t at all the new modern type of teenage dating where they hang out in groups and go through levels of talking.
What s taking place is a good old fashioned courting process. The young man s mother did a very good job teaching manners and etiquette to her son. He ate with us at Easter and even brought flowers and a dessert. We ve been impressed with his behavior. That said, this is still my daughter we re talking about and I m not naïve.
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He might be a well-adjusted young man full of the right things, but I was not at his age, and I know all the angles. I m not proud of my years as a teenage boy, but as a parent I have a wealth of experience to draw upon. The hardest task is not to project my experiences on these two when they are not doing anything wrong. What should we expect from our teenagers when they start dating? Here are my dating rules.
When two people connect in such a way, it s difficult to not get carried away with what s going on. For teenagers, perspective isn t the easy thing to begin with. When they are dating, it can get distorted in a hurry. As a parent, stay on top of the feelings and things being discussed. You re dating in high school.
Keep it right there. The future will take care of itself. My daughter is a unique individual. She s naturally beautiful and reaches a stunning level when she wants to. But she ll not use her looks to attract people.
She wants people to like the weird things about her. I love that trait in her.