It wasn’t planned, but it’s where the evening discussion landed. “So, how do you know when to kiss?”
Let me back up. I have a son turning 15 in a few weeks. Tonight, at Family Home Evening we talked about what to expect in the life of a 15 year old. Inspired by a message called, “It’s Never Too Early and It’s Never Too Late” we desire to build trust and guidance in our teenage son. (If you have the time, I highly recommend reading or listening to the article, it’s fantastic.) In short, the simple, parental suggestion is to take time at milestones in your child’s life (birthdays are an example), to tell them you’ve been where they are, that you know some of what’s coming and are there to help them. After all, this is why they have parents right?! 😉 Keeping it simple felt key to us, so we talked before as a couple about what things we felt we could share that would be meaningful and helpful. We landed on peer pressure and safety with driving and dating. These are the two upcoming and more relevant issues in his life and they’re big ones.
We started by introducing this idea of having some life experience and sharing it with those you love by framing it with his three year old sister. We asked him what things he’s learned in his life that could help her. Then we explained this was the premise for our discussion and what we wanted to share with him. That we were 15 once, and we know some of what he’s going to experience in the coming year. I told him my lesson would be about peer pressure and safety; that his peers may often try to convince him that some dangerous things are cool. Things like driving silly, fast, or taking a group to do silly things in a car are not dangerous at all, but they’re wrong. That the same thing will likely happen with girls and future dating – that having a steady girlfriend is the game. I told him my council would be to always obey the law, both of the land and of the Lord.
This turned into a discussion on dating and we read and discussed what the Lord says about it, what it is and what it’s not. Kudos to my hubby, by the way, for pointing out that our word for dating doesn’t mean the same thing to him as it did to us as his age. That his generation would use the words “hanging out” in place of dating. It’s true, his world that word means exclusive relationships between boys and girls. Nice catch, dear. Nice catch. After we cleared the air about words, we had a fun discussion about how much fun dating should be in High School. And this my friends, is how we landed on the question of how you know when to kiss. *gulp*
Oh to relive the personal memories of this one! I guess the good that comes from my crazy learning curves were I had some fun stories to tell and we had a great laugh at my expense, or at least at the expense of my younger self. And yet, when it was all said and done he told us thanks. He said he hoped other parents were teaching their boys the right way to date too. *grin*
But here’s the real take away. Take the time to talk with your kids. Take the time to share your stories. Take the time to make sure they understand what matters and why. Take the time build the trust that will help them through what’s coming.