Dating Rules — The Bump
Baltimore Babies

Dating Rules

There's a discussion going on on my FB BMB about when to let kids start having a boyfriend/dating. Someone's 11 year old (who was not supposed to be having a boyfriend) had this bf break up with her and was upset. The mom is saying she wants her kid to focus on being a kid and there's plenty of time for dating when she's older, etc.

Obviously, I don't have kids this age yet, but I remember how my parents handled this with me. They didn't object to my boyfriend when I was 11 (we barely spoke to each other, it's not like it was a "relationship"). They did give me one rule in high school and that was that I was not allowed to date a senior when I was a freshman. So of course I did! And I picked a total winner too (the guy was seriously into drugs, etc). But the point is, they made up an arbitrary rule that was pretty unenforceable unless they were going to keep me in the house 24/7. Why bother?

And the thing that really bugs me is that this mom in my group is saying "focus on being a kid" etc which is nice and logical and as adults, we get it, but your kid is not going to grasp that. Especially not your pre-teen. The one time I went to my mom with boy troubles, she gave me a line like that about how I shouldn't be focusing on boys right now, and it pretty much ruined our relationship for the next decade or so.

So. Did you having dating rules growing up? Did you follow them? Will you set rules for your kids?
image

BFP#1: 01/10, M/C 6w
BFP#2: 06/10, M/C 5w
BFP#3: 09/10, DS born June 1, 2011
Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

BFP#4: 07/12, M/C 5w3d
BFP#5: 12/12, EDD 08/18/13
Pregnancy Ticker

My Blog: Decorate This

Re: Dating Rules

  • We didn't have any dating rules, I was such a late bloomer that my parent's got off scott free.  And my sister is married to her 1st boyfriend!  They started dating when she was maybe 15. 

    My sister did tell her daughters that they weren't allowed to date until they were 14, I think.  Her oldest daughter, who is 11, had a "boyfriend" for the day and came home crying about how she had broken the rule and didn't like having a boyfriend.

    I don't know what we'll do when it comes time for the girls to be interested in boys (or other girls).  Can't they stay innocent forever?!?!?!  PLEASE!!!

    [IMG]http://i46.tinypic.com/3447dyp.jpg[/IMG]

    Miss Tuna: Born 03/23/2009

    The Goose: Born 11/30/2011


    *********m/c: 5/9/08********
  • I didn't have any dating rules growing up but I didn't start really "dating" until sophomore year and "dating" just meant hanging out in a group somewhere. My first serious boyfriend was senior year of high school and by then I think my parents knew I was headed off to college soon and "rules" weren't really appropriate. I had a curfew and that was really it. They liked and trusted my boyfriend so all was OK. We weren't allowed to be in my room with the door closed but we could go into the "spare room" next to mine which is where my TV was a shut the door. I'm not sure why that was OK...maybe since there wasn't a bed in there. Uhh, sorry parents!

    It's so hard to say what dating rules will be for our kids. Of course, DH wants to keep Bailey locked away until she's 30 but I think we'll just have to play it by ear and see the girl/teenager she becomes. I do know that she will not be allowed to have boys in her room with the door closed probably through high school. I feel like that makes me sound so old-fashioned but I know what happens when the door is closed...serious bf's parents didn't care if we shut the door, so we spent a lot of time in there! I know I can't prevent her from being sexually active in whatever ways, but I really don't want to facilitate it by letting her do whatever she wants behind closed doors. Maybe by senior year but I don't know.

    As for our son, DH feels the need to be less strict but I'm in the same camp as I am with Bailey. What's done for her should be done for him.

    Man, I'm glad this is so far away!

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Someone's getting a little brother!
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • Loading the player...
  • image Mella&T:

    As for our son, DH feels the need to be less strict but I'm in the same camp as I am with Bailey. What's done for her should be done for him.

    I totally agree with you on this!! I hate the double standard with boys getting less strict rules than girls.

    image

    BFP#1: 01/10, M/C 6w
    BFP#2: 06/10, M/C 5w
    BFP#3: 09/10, DS born June 1, 2011
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

    BFP#4: 07/12, M/C 5w3d
    BFP#5: 12/12, EDD 08/18/13
    Pregnancy Ticker

    My Blog: Decorate This
  • image SarahKate31:
    image Mella&T:

    As for our son, DH feels the need to be less strict but I'm in the same camp as I am with Bailey. What's done for her should be done for him.

    I totally agree with you on this!! I hate the double standard with boys getting less strict rules than girls.

    This 1000%! 

    Growing up my brother and I were living with my grandparents, so you can imagine all the rules we had. I didn't really start dating anyone until I was 16 years old. Boys were not allowed in my room. I could go to the basement and hang out with them, but that was it. During the three years I dated DH, he was never allowed in my room. We laugh now, thinking about it. I had a curfew too, which was home by midnight, but that was because I was driving and still under 18. Makes sense now. I didn't move out until I was 26, but once I went to college, the rules for how late I could stay out seems to be relaxed. I still called and told them if I was coming home, etc.

    As for my brother, he could have boys and girls in his room and he could stay out all hours of the night. This really pissed me off.

    DH and I really need to set some rules up for the girls, but we haven't really talked about it. But I'm sure they will both have a curfew. And I like them not start dating until at 16 years old.  

    image

    image

    image 





  • image SarahKate31:
    image Mella&T:

    As for our son, DH feels the need to be less strict but I'm in the same camp as I am with Bailey. What's done for her should be done for him.

    I totally agree with you on this!! I hate the double standard with boys getting less strict rules than girls.

    I hate the rule too.

    DS will be 17 next month and is not allowed to have girls in his room period. He will be a senior next year and the same rules will apply. He told me one girl he liked was allowed to have boys spend the night and that she was allowed to spend the night at boys houses. I LOL'd at that and told him that will never be the case.

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • I wasn't allowed to date at all. Ever, lol. 

    I did "date" and my mom kind of looked the other way because she knew all we did was hang out in a group of friends. Once my friends or I could drive, though, all bets were off. My parents had to trust where I said I was going and who I said I was going with. I definitely took advantage of that, because my parents rules were so strict. Because I had a minor license, I had to be home by 11pm (I grew up in PA, I don't know if it's different here). My mom said she didn't care what we did as long as we didn't catch an STD or get pregnant/get someone else pregnant (I had 2 brothers).

    DH already says our daughter is not allowed to date at all. He'll be one of those dad who cleans their guns the nights she goes on dates, lol. Ultimately, you can't stop kids from doing what they want. All you can do is to educate them on how to be safe and teach them to make their own decisions instead of doing "what everyone else does". Peer pressure is how a lot of kids got in trouble with dating in my experience.  

    image


    Me:27, DH:28 - DX: MFI, varicocele repair Nov 2011 
    Post-Op SA: Count- 15 million, Motility- 75%, Morphology- 3% 
    IVF with ICSI - Stimming 10/4/12 - 10/13/12, Lupron Trigger
    ER 10/18/1212 eggs retrieved, 8 mature, 5 fertilized
    5 day transfer 10/23/12, 3 frosties
    Beta #1 11/5/12: 453, Beta #2 11/7/12: 1,013, DD born 7/19/13
  • I wasn't allowed to go on an official one-on-one date until I could drive myself.  I don't really know what the logic was behind that rule but my mom insisted that if anything "happened," I should be able to leave the situation immediately without relying on someone else.  That rule would make sense if I drove myself on every date but I didn't...so I really don't get it.  Either way, that ultimately means that I couldn't go on one-on-one dates until I was 16.  Prior to that, I was only allowed to hang out with boys in groups.  I guess I was okay with that because I didn't really date a ton in early high school anyway. 

    My parents also had the rule that I couldn't have boys in my room with the door closed.  I followed the rule but I can't say that having the door open really mattered if my parents were in the basement or something.  I have to admit though, I will probably have this rule with my own kids because even though it probably won't prevent 100% of the hanky panky from happening, I'm thinking that leaving the door open may just keep things a little more respectful.  

    DH and I haven't really discussed dating rules but I know that he will want her locked in the house until she's old and gray.  We will definitely have rules but I agree with PP who said that the most important thing is to educate your kids and instill values in them so that they can make their own positive decisions.  I have a feeling that is easier said than done though.  

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    Pregnancy Ticker
  • I'm the youngest kid in my family and the only girl, so I felt a lot of pressure to "just be a kid" and not grow up, even when I was encountering age-appropriate dating situations. There was never an outspoken rule, it was just understood that I wasn't allowed to date. I remember feeling very frustrated and guilty even in elementary school because I had crushes on boys or had boyfriends (which in 4th grade meant not talking to each other and only holding hands on the playground) and thought I'd be in trouble if I told my parents.

    When I was in high school and started dating my first "real" boyfriend, I felt like I had to be so secretive about it even though we pretty much functioned as good friends who made-out a lot. I think my parents didn't want me to date because they thought it was an inevitable path of dating --> sex --> teenage pregnancy, but sex wasn't anywhere on my radar and if they'd have just talked to me about it, they'd have known that. I just felt like I never knew what I was doing and wouldn't be taken seriously if I told them that I loved someone. Those early relationships were emotional learning experiences more than anything and I ended up hurting people and being callous because I just didn't trust my feelings.

    I definitely don't want to treat my son with the attitude that you can't feel love for another person until you hit some arbitrary age. If you want your kids to learn how to give and accept love and likewise handle heartbreak and disappointment, you can't bar them from those emotions or package them in a big box of guilt.

    My ultimate goal is to maintain very open communication with my kids. If my son comes home from kindergarten saying he's in love with one of his classmates, I want him to feel he can come to me with that kind of information and not feel like he's being bad for doing so. I think love, like all other things, is a learning experience and instead of creating rules I'd rather be able to talk to him about what he's feeling in an age-appropriate way. I certainly think it's possible to feel genuine love for another person despite your age, though it may mean different things depending on your stage of life and development. I wish that instead of making me feel like it was "bad" or "not real" when I was a kid, that my parents would have just talked to me about it and, you know, validated that it's actually a GOOD thing to have love for someone else.

    Aside from that, I'd really just rather know if and who he's dating so I can get to know that person and not just stick my head in the sand. Same thing with sex - I HOPE it's not something he chooses to do in HS, but if it's something he's considering, I'd want him to talk to me about it so we can have a very real conversation about consequences, responsibilities, and above all - protection.

    Oh, and same thing goes for if we ever have a daughter. I can't stand double-standards based on a child's sex.

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • I didn't have dating rules.  But I didn't really date in HS though, so non-issue lol. 

     

    I don't know if we will set rules for our kids. I mean we will have rules haha, but I think it's going to be very case by case, which might make it arbitrary and unpredictable, but I think saying "no dating until 15" or whatever just might not work.  Also, when an 11 year old "dates" what is that?  I had a boyfriend in 7th grade. Know what we did?  Ate lunch together. That was it.  so if my mom had said "oh no he cant be your boyfriend!" I'd have been like, ummm.....why not?

     BUT obviously for some kids "dating" even at a young age is much more adult and serious than that.  

     I think my definite rules will be things like we have to meet the girl, maybe meet her parents (not like in a huge way, just a general idea of who her parents are maybe), know where they are going,what time they will be home, etc.  Depending on the relationship (both between DS and the girl and between us and DS), we will either be or more less trusting in terms of how much freedom he has in this area.  

    Lilypie First Birthday tickers
  • OHHH yeah and no boy or girl in the room with the door closed (ie boy cant have a girl in room with door closed, if we have a daughter no boy in the room.)  Of course the opposite sex rule could be a non-issue if we have a gay child, but we'll play it by ear. 

     

    My aunt is the sweetest woman alive - like a pushover kind of woman - and she lets her son have girls spend the night.  And buys the condoms. I mean now he is 23 so its a different story but this was the case when he was 17 and 18 as well.

     

    (to be fair though, as I am thinking of this, I'm not sure I am opposed to buying condoms.  Maybe just putting a bowl of them in the bathroom or something.  I'd rather buy them than have my kids not use them.)  BUT if my kid says to me "mom I need more condoms" I'll tell him to get his butt in the car and buy them.  haha.  

      

    Lilypie First Birthday tickers
  • The rules growing up were no dating under 16, no boys in girls bedrooms and vice versa, but we were allowed to have friends of the opposite gender and hang out in groups, go to dances as long as parents dropped off and picked up etc.  I don't think it was too strict, and when they relaxed the rules with my youngest sister she ended up pregnant.  I think when kids have more opportunity to do things they aren't ready for then they will.  My sister confided in me that she was pressured and wishes in retrospect that the rules had been stricter to leave the decision with someone else so she could use the parents as a scapegoat in her relationship.  Kids will find a way if they really want to, but parents don't need to make it easy for them to make bad decisions.  I plan to follow the same rules with my kids. 
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards