However, even with these guidelines, three out of four of our teens had their first real date to the school prom in their junior year at age 17.
And those first dates were all with friends, not with someone with whom they were romantically involved.
They should also bear in mind that while eighteen-year-olds may be considered "adults," the fact remains that many of them haven't developed the maturity to monitor and control their own actions in a dating situation.If an older teen displays maturity, common sense, and sound moral judgment, dating can play an important role in his or her growth and development.But he wasn’t ready yet to surrender his role as a parent. Just what role should parents play to steer a child away from the traps in the most popular sport for many teens—the dating game? For us, dating or courting is a small part of the overall process of determining God’s will for discovering your life partner in marriage.He hoped the conversation he was about to initiate would help close that gap. ” he asked, struggling to disguise the wobble he felt in his voice. Bill gripped the steering wheel and shot a glance into her eyes. Bill and his wife had talked before with Julie about God’s standards about sex, but soon she would be dating and making moral choices on her own. They were just a block from home, so gently but firmly, Bill pressed the final question: “Well then, would you mind telling me how far you intend to go? ” He stopped the car a few feet short of the driveway and feigned a look into the mailbox. If he had waited for a month, he wouldn’t have been ready for what she said. In our family the focus has not been on dating, but more on training our teens in their character and in how to develop a relationship with the opposite sex.“Your mom and I just want to make sure you know what you stand for as you get old enough to date. We’re trying to train them to protect their emotions and not to send romantic signals to boys.
And when a young man sends romantic signals to one of our daughters, we’ve talked with him and tried to keep the relationship on a friendship level.Then you can promise to revisit the dating question after he or she turns seventeen if your child displays the necessary signs of maturity and sound judgment at that time.If you'd like to discuss these questions at greater length with a member of our staff, feel free to contact our Counseling Department. The Family Help Center staff member who answers the phone will arrange for a licensed counselor to call you back.He had prayed for an opportunity to talk to her alone—without her three brothers around. “Oh, okay,” Julie replied, in cryptic teenage fashion. “Have you thought through how far you are going to go, physically, with the opposite sex? They wanted to encourage her to make the right ones. He knew his wife always got the mail, but Julie was acting like a basketball team ahead by one point in the fourth quarter, hoping the clock would run out. Our teens do not go out on a date every Friday and Saturday night.She looked nonchalantly out her window as their car crossed a small bridge. “I would like to ask you a very personal question and give you the freedom not to answer if you don’t want to.” He paused, waiting for her reply. Our junior high and high school age teens don’t date anyone exclusively.It’s not that our teens were not interested in dates beyond a friendship, but we had talked through the few pros and the many cons of exclusive dating enough that they felt changing the relationship from friendship to romance might ruin the friendship.