Recent College Graduates - we are hiring for our Master's and Fellowship Programs! Go to for more info.

SkyMoms > Parenting Tips

The Dating Game - Lisa Clark

If your children aren’t of dating age yet, they will be soon.  Do you have a plan? I guess that’s the main takeaway here.  When it’s time for your children to start the process of dating, whatever that looks like in your home, do you have a plan?

Brad and I discussed our dating game plan early on.  16.  At the age of 16, our girls would be allowed to “car date.”  Until then, they could do the “group dating” thing, go to dances, hangout.  But never alone.  Always supervised.  When they turned 16, one was ready, and one was not. 

Our children need to NOT feel pressure from us to have a boyfriend or girlfriend.  I’ve noticed through the years that moms, in particular, REALLY want their daughters to be loved by boys.  Moms, please don’t put this pressure on your girls.  Some girls are ready (in their mind) to date a boy in middle school.  That’s a problem.  A middle school child isn’t capable of these types of relationships for many reasons.  Mostly because it ostracizes him/her from the other kids.  16 isn’t a magic number.  It was the number we chose in our family.  You might decide a number isn’t good for you and you want to make a decision according to the situation, person, your child, etc.  That’s fine, too! The point is…Have a plan.

We decided we wanted our girls to experience dating situations while they were still under our roof.  This allowed Brad to meet the boy, visit with him, get to know him, and make sure he understood the expectations.  Curfews were VERY important to Brad.  It wasn’t so much the time on the clock, but the matter of respect.  If you were smart and respected him, you came home 10 minutes prior to your curfew.  Curfew was hard on one of our girls.  She shall remain nameless.

Takeaways from The Dating Game:

  1. Have a plan.

  2. Don’t pressure your son or daughter into dating.  They will know when they are ready!

  3. Communicate before, during and after the date.

  4. Do what is right for your family.  All families do this differently.  That’s okay!