This week The 4 Moms of 35+ Kids are discussing dating and courtship.
I will come right out and say that I have absolutely no experience in this area whatsoever.
Our oldest is 17 and so far we have not yet had questions, requests, or petitions. Since we do have 8 children and they are all perfectly lovely people, we do expect to have to address it at some point in the near future, so here are some of our thoughts.
We don't do the boyfriend/girlfriend thing.
It was recently revealed to me that it was being said in certain circles that a certain one of our pre-teen girls may or may not have a "boyfriend". We made it clear to our girls that the boy in question is a very nice boy and that he is indeed a friend, but our little girls do not have "boyfriends".
There have never been texts or phone calls between the two. They don't sit together at church. They do talk before and after and exchange favorite books. Just like friends. Which is what they are.
Being alone with a boy/girl you are attracted to is not a good idea.
I have heard of parents making guidelines for their dating children such as no boyfriends allowed in bedrooms, no boyfriends in bedrooms with doors closed, no sitting on beds with boyfriends, no being horizontal in bedrooms with boyfriends, etc.
The thing is, the same things that can go on in bedrooms with boyfriends can go on in cars on dark roads, on the back row of the movie theater, in an empty class room after church, and just about anywhere else where prying eyes are bound to be absent.
Which is why we expect to send little sisters with prying eyes and loud mouths anywhere and everywhere any of our children go when they are with someone of the opposite sex that they consider to be spouse material.
Kissing leads to inappropriate touching and inappropriate touching leads to sex.
There I said it.
And now I will go ahead and point out that which seems to be unpopular to point out these days: Sex outside of marriage is sinful and displeasing to God. Because of that we will try our best to make it very difficult for our children to be tempted by it.
I understand that some will and have called us "helicopter parents", "overprotective", "smother mother", and more for these ideas. I am fine with that. I have been called worse.
Our goal is to make it easy for our children to offer their bodies "as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God" by not transforming to the pattern of this world. (Romans 12:1-2)
And in case you are wondering, here is what we do about that vaccine for sexually transmitted diseases.