Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Abbey: On Dating

Abbey has been asking for over a year if she could start dating.  We have told the kids that until they are 75, there will be no dating.  Just recently, Abbey pleaded with me to let her date, and wanted to know WHY she couldn't.  I explained to her my concerns:

She's too young.
Dating leads to kissing.
Kissing leads to...more kissing...

But I also shared with her my concern for her heart.  It is my job, as a mother, to protect her heart.  And I know that 95% of elementary school "relationships" end.  And the last thing I want is for my 11 year old daughter to be heartbroken.  In the book that the girls and I are reading together, there is a section for moms about your daughter's relationships with other girls, boys, dads and moms.  The section on boys expressed exactly how I was feeling, and I was able to read it to, and talk about it with, Abbey.

Guys may become interesting to her, but she's not ready for relationships yet.  Being in a dating relationship for six months or longer is a significant risk factor for early teen sexual activity.  Can you see why it might not be that "cute" for our 8-to12-year-olds to be boy-crazy or have multiple boyfriends while they are still in the fourth grade?
Talking With Your Daughter About Best Friends And Mean Girls, Dannah Gresh

What parent can honestly say that they look forward to the idea of their teenager becoming sexually active?  While we all have different views on what is or is not acceptable for our own kids in this regard, I think we could all agree that physically (STD's, pregnancy, etc...) and emotionally we do not want our children to be hurt.

The next line in the book though really spoke to my heart.

If she develops a pattern of "needing" a guy when she is eight or nine, she's going to be in many six-month relationships in her early teen years.

Whoa.  Abbey and I had a good discussion that night about needing a guy and how it could lead to all kinds of heartache.  Today, I felt affirmed as a mother when I learned that she had been listening, and taking this to heart.

You see, Abbey was very upset today.  She called me as I was driving home from work to tell me how she was feeling and I listened while she poured her heart out.  I was saddened, on her behalf, and also so very proud of this girl!  So much wisdom, so young.  I suggested that she write down how she was feeling so that she could try to process it, and then we would talk about it when I got home.  This was her assessment of her feelings:

Do you have any advice for my heartbroken fifth grader?


  1. There's a wonderful book called the Princess Kiss that I read to my daughters. Might be great for your daughter and my girls were a bit older than yours.

    I also told my girls, and now my boys, that their age didn't give them a "right" to date that there was more to it than just "dating". We talked about all of their friends in 5th and 6th grade who were "dating" and how ridiculous it was. How were they dating? How often did they date and break up? Were they dating because they were going to be together forever or just because they wanted to do what everyone else was doing? The reason for dating in our family is to find someone they'll spend the rest of their lives with that God has chosen for them and at 11 yrs old, they're just not old enough to know that.

    These were such important conversations! Lord bless your conversations!

    1. Thank you so much for the encouragement! I will definitely check that book out!!!