Okay so let me first clarify that Happy Mouth is only a junior and yet she is on her 2nd prom this year!
I gotta hand it to the girl; she has got a gift for having some great guy friends who possess 1920’s chivalry and a 2011 respect for independent women.
And I have to admit on the mama end that the "friends" only part has been a great relief to me.
We have had two dating experiences thus far.
And when I say "dating" think Walton's type courting. We are very conservative and value our girls highly. Mr. Rogers and I have gone through many ups and downs as we considered the dating rules.
At this point I have no doubt that someone is rolling their eyes, perhaps even making the gagging sign.
But let me just say two points of wisdom:
1. If YOU (the parent-the one in charge- the more experienced member of the equation) do not create a boundary, there will not be one.
2. Think where you were at 17- 'NOUGH SAID!!
So after consulting those with the same values, both parents of older children, as well as our own pier group we decided on a dating code. No Captain Jack Sparrow they are not "guidelines”, we must be loyal to the code.
We have several parents we know that do not allow their children to date at all.
Neither boy nor girl.
The thinking is simply that there is no point in dating anyone you would not consider for marriage.
There is value in this thinking, and whether you agree or not or think abstinence is a ridiculous idea, consider it from a health or medical point of view.
15- to 19-Year-Old Women—In 2009, as in previous years, women aged 15–19 years had the highest rate of chlamydia compared with any other age or sex group (Figure 5, Table 10). Chlamydia rates for women in this age group increased 1.8%, from 3,269.5 cases per 100,000 population in 2008 to 3,329.3 cases in 2009.
It goes on to state that " Estimates suggest that even though young people aged 15–24 years represent only 25% of the sexually experienced population, they acquire nearly half of all new STDs.1"
What number of the 50% do you want your daughter to be?
I value my child. I want the best for her.
"The best" would include a healthy mind and a protected heart; even at the sacrifice of an impulsive rockin' good time (sorry the sarcasm had to come in here somewhere).
This isn't preaching- it's FACT.
Want to be realistic about stuff? This is REALITY,
And while many of our friends have opted for the "no dating"; I struggle with one aspect of this.
It's not the 'How can you expect a teenager to stay abstinent?" argument that is in play here.
I believe purity is and honorable and attainable choice.
I have encouraged and supported it by allowing my daughter to date.
Under my guidelines,
Under my roof.
You see I do not want her to have absolutely no experience with dating as she leaves the shelter of our home into the world.
I do not want her naive.
I do not want her first dating experience to be God-knows -where with God-knows-who that expects God-knows-what.
I want that child under my roof and under my love when life unfolds.
Thus far she has had two boyfriends.
She broke the first ones heart and the second one broke her heart,
I got to guide her through both.
I was available for her to confide in,
and even get a butt-kickin’ in (No mean girls in the house. Respect them enough to break up in person)
I want her prepared on how to treat others and how to be treated.
I want her educated.
With that said may I state that there are no perfect parents (at least not on this blog).
I decided long ago that no matter how ugly the story, I would be honest when they asked any question of me.
So I know one day it will come that she will realize that I am advising her down a road I did not take myself.
Will she deem me hypocrite? Maybe, but I think she will not.
I think she will see me honest,
She will know the sins of the mother but she will also know the consequences they brought, both in body and soul.
I realize that Happy Mouth is her own person.
She will make her own choices and she will reap blessings or curses form them, just like everyone else.
She may choose differently than I wish her to.
I know this.
I am not stupid.
However that does not excuse me from giving her the facts and directing her into the path that is best for her,
How do I know it’s the best?
Because it comes from the One who created her, who values and loves her even more than I.
God knew long ago Happy Mouth's course.
He knows her future and has purposely chosen to love her no matter what
--and because He decided to love me, not only in Christ, but blessedly in making me her mother, I will do the same.