What we have is a youth culture with far too many liberties and not nearly enough parental involvement and boundaries. A number of years ago, our friend Jerry Wunder shared with us the benefits of interviewing our daughters’ dates.We’ve been doing it ever since and found the benefits to be enormous.First, if your daughter knows in advance what you will be asking and is prepared for what it will be like, she will usually feel honored, protected, and loved.
Should you feel it would be unwise for your daughter to spend time with this boy, you can intervene.Third, we’ve found that knowing he will have to meet with me before he can date my daughter has automatically weeded out a number of unacceptable prospects.It takes a courageous young man or an arrogant one to go through the interview for a date with our daughter. If you begin talking about interviewing her dates before your daughter begins adolescence, this should not become an issue when you actually begin doing it later on.Too many teenagers are being permanently scarred by the dating game.We think it’s time for parents to take a long, hard look at teenagers and dating, and to develop a fresh approach, prayerfully determine limits, and train your child to hold fast to the boundaries that you set.
In forming our own convictions as parents about dating, it’s not good enough for us to just back off a step or two from what the world says is acceptable.
We believe there are four convictions regarding dating that all parents should consider and uphold: 1.
Our teenagers need our training, guidance, and ongoing involvement as they approach the issue of guy-girl relationships and dating.
Because our culture tells parents to stay out of the dating lives of our teenagers, we realize this may not be an easy conviction to embrace.
We’re told that our teens are old enough to begin making their own decisions, that parents who do get involved are old fashioned, intrusive, and “patriarchal.” To us, it seems, very few parents of teens are involved enough in their children’s dating relationships. Perhaps the best way to help corral your ideas on what to do about your child’s interaction with the opposite sex is to write out your family’s dating policy. Will you allow them to date another person exclusively? Too many parents today allow their children to develop exclusive guy-girl relationships at 13 or 14 because that’s what everyone else does. They can’t go out in a car alone.” But the pattern of romance and emotional involvement gets established.
That’s why you need to be involved—because others parents aren’t! This will require some extended conversation between Mom and Dad. What about dating—are you going to let your kids date or not? As Ashley and then Benjamin and Samuel began adolescence, we looked more closely at this issue and over the years developed some family guidelines for the following: When a child can date, whom they should date, acceptable kinds of dates, telephone use, Internet communications, and so on. We (especially dads) need to interview our daughters’ dates.