An 8th grade girl approached me after class recently asking if she could speak with me about something I had spoken about in class—the dangers of dating older guys.
She told me she had a wonderful boyfriend who was older than she was, respected her and did not put any pressure on her to have sex. She added that she didn’t understand the big deal about dating an older guy as long as he wasn’t pressuring her to have sex. I asked her how old her boyfriend was and she answered “19,” immediately adding that she’s “almost 15” as if the “almost” made the age difference any less significant.
I could write an entire post about the conversation I had with the young lady in an attempt to make her understand why it wasn’t smart to date a guy who is 5 years older than her. But that will have to be a post for another day. In this post, I want to address her mother’s actions.
I think I was most shocked when she told me that her mom knew about the relationship and was “OK” with it! What???? I can’t imagine why any mother would condone her 14-year-old daughter dating a guy who is 5 years older than her.
I seriously doubt any father would be OK with a 19-year-old guy dating his 14-year-old daughter. The fact that this young lady is being raised in a single parent household denies her the perspective of her father in this situation.
I have heard mothers who are raising their children alone brag about being the mother and the father to the children. If a single mother has any chance of fulfilling the role of an absentee father, there will be times when she will need to “Think like a Dad!”
This would be one of those times.
What Would a Dad Do (WWADD)?
Below are additional standards that a good father would likely have if he were living in the home with his daughter:
1. Not allow his daughter to date at a young age.
2. Research the potential suitor’s background to make sure that he is “good enough” to date his daughter.
3. Have a firm conversation with the potential suitor before he begins dating his daughter to put the “fear of God” in him.
In the absence of a father in the home, it would behoove the mother to consider WWADD? and set appropriate standards with her daughter and any potential suitors.
Please share any other standards that you may have for your daughter so we can learn from each other.