Whether your child is 12 or 16, the discussion of dating will eventually come up.
So, we asked our Newark moms about their thoughts and practices when it comes to their children showing romantic interest toward another.
We asked them:
- At what age do you think it is appropriate for your son or daughter to date?
- Would that age be different if you had a child of the opposite sex?
- How involved would you say you are or how involved would you want to be in your child's dating life?
- What kind of guys or girls do/would you allow your son or daughter to date?
Here’s what they had to say:
Angela Slate, mom of two
I think it depends on the individual child, and the person he/she wants to date. Kids mature at different rates, but I would definitely say no younger than 14. I have a boy and a girl, and I think I would apply the same rule to both of them. Idealistically, I'd like to be VERY involved. I'd want to meet them AND their parents. Realistically, I'm sure I'll be lucky if my kids even tell me that they are dating! All I ask is that they pick someone who comes from a good family (with no drama) and treats them well.
Jennifer Makin, mom of two
My sons are very young to be thinking about this, At 6 and 3, I haven't really thought much about their social lives when it comes to romantic relationships. As I want my boys to grow into very responsible, caring and respectful young men, I would not want them to begin dating until they know how and can afford to treat a young woman right. This means that they would need the means to take a girl out on a date (driving isn't the issue - paying for dinner and a movie or mini golf is expected, or at least being able to plan out something more economical like a bike ride and a picnic lunch). My guess will be that my sons will date earlier than I did, and it is my job to ensure they are prepared for what encompasses a romantic relationship.
Lorie Mohs, mom of two
We have some firm rules on dating in our home. We have set the age for dating at 16. We feel that this gives our boys the chance to grow and experience high school without it being all about dating. For us, having a child of the opposite sex would not matter. We would still request that they wait until 16 to date.
Our involvement in their dating life will be active. We expect our boys to treat the girls in their lives with respect and to keep their promise of purity for marriage. We also pray for mates for our boys. We hope that the relationships they have will be God-led and not peer-pressure driven. We hope that our boys will date girls with similar family values and goals in life.
Tammy Warren-Alcorta, mom of five
My husband and I have already discussed this subject. Group dates or hanging out is OK by age 13, as long as we know where they are at and if adult supervision is there. One-on-one dates are allowed at 16 years old and only if we know the person our child is going on the date with. And yes, we have to meet them a couple times before an alone date is even considered. The person my child chooses to date has to have the same morals and ethics as us. We have to meet him/her and his/her family and parents. There will be no different standards in our house for males or females. The same rules apply. School dances and functions will have different rules. We drop them off and pick them up, and we have the option of showing up at any time to check and make sure they are really there. My husband and I plan to be involved in the dating aspect until they reach the age of 18. Until 18 years old, they are under our roof with our rules.