Appropriate teenage dating behavior

I’ll part with a picture of myself and my teenage boys. I love their goodness, their thoughtfulness, and though they’ve got much learning in the art of communication ahead of them, I know they will figure it out. Dating is an important aspect of life…you gotta do it!As much as I adore them, and secretly wish they don’t grow up and leave me, I want them to spread their wings, and eventually get married, and you can’t do that without dating!I can’t wait to meet the girls they will bring home, and get to know them, and watch how they shape my boys into men with their relationships.I’m going to try my best to not be “that crazy mom” who is trying to hard, and cross my fingers that my future daughters-in-law will see me as a friend and confidant as well.Though I’m VERY excited to talk about it, I have to also be very careful, to respect my children, and their privacy. I think she was flattered, maybe thought the boy was cute, but she knew she wasn’t up for that, and had an easy fall back of “I’m not allowed to.”In my head, I was kinda like….”well, you could have…” and thought it was sweet, but after thinking about it more, I was very impressed with her for being so mature.She had told me months later that her friends that “went out” with a boy (mind you, this is 4th grade) it got complicated and awkward, and she felt bad for them.I still feel like a teen, and having had the opportunity to teach teens last year and this year in a Bible study class, they have become my favorite people to hang out with. Our family rule is that dating starts at the age of 16. Couples can form as early as elementary school, and though it’s fairly innocent at that age, and definitely not considered “dating” in my mind, it’s one of the things that as parents we can be supportive of it, on the fence, or against it.

I see intimacy as something special meant for husband and wife.I talk with them about all things sex, we discuss how babies are made at the dinner table with all of our children together, because I want them to know that is off limits to discuss with me.They will jokingly say, “mom’s going to talk about this stuff again…” with a teasing eye roll or something, and I’m ok with that.I recognize that a lot of people in this world disagree, but I’m grateful I was raised with this, and I hope my children will do the same.Either way, I will love and support, and encourage them every step of the way.

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