Help! My kid wants to date!

The other day, in mid-‘living my life’, my teen mentioned the word DATING to me. Gasp! My kid wants to date! The outcry! The audacity! The shock and horror!

I tried to not give him a look that said “boy, are you out of your mind?!” Because, I mean, the kid is growing up so it would make sense that he would show interest in this kind of thing.

But dating?!

So many questions came up. Like, would it affect his school work? And what does he expect to GET out of it? Is he ready for the commitment? And more importantly, am I ready for him to be ready for the commitment?!

I didn’t want to scare him away, while I got all up in my feelings, so I excused myself and took a moment to throw a silent, non-violent, facial-expressionless #momfit.

Taking a metaphorical woosah, before responding, gave me some clarity. And honestly, guys, up until the other day my boy had no interest in going to school dances or hanging out at a mall with friends because his XBox and younger brother were more than enough entertainment. We are very lucky that he’s content and not living past his years. But hey, he’s growing and changing and the last thing I want to do is make him feel as if he is doing something wrong, when he isn’t. So we had a heart to heart of sorts…and it wasn’t all that painful.

4 tips for tips for when your teen wants to start dating

Validate their feelings
Teenagers are like mini-adults and the best thing you could do for your mini-adult is to validate their feelings. Let them know that you GET them. So that’s what I tried to do. I mean, hands up if you’ve done something forbidden behind your parents back. *raises all the hands* Yep, those were my hands. All of them. I’ve been there and I don’t want my children to feel as if they have to go down that route too. So we spoke about the girl/girls that he likes and how it’s okay to like someone and admire qualities about them.

You don’t need to act on it
But with that said, we also explained that you don’t always have to do SOMETHING about it. Peer pressure and the “prescribed norm” ages our kids way faster than they are mentally ready. We explained that it’s okay to have friends that are girls and to hang out with them etc. But that doesn’t mean that you have to “cuddle” and *shudder* all these other things that his friends are doing. We spoke about sex. Yes, we didn’t use other words to sugar coat it. Sex is sex. I know his stance on it, but I also explained that both Chris and I had kiddies when we were still kiddies (remember, I told you guys that we had our sons before we even met) so it’s totally possible to go from “cuddling” to “more than cuddling” without even knowing that you’re headed there!

Lay down the law
Once all the mushy stuff was said, I also had to lay down the law, because I’m the big person and he’s the little person (okay, okay, GROWING little person) and that’s how it works around our parts. We chatted a bit about what it means to be in a relationship and he agreed that maybe 16, 17, 18 (more like 30, 31, 32! aack) years old is a more mature age to commit to a whole other person. We spoke about what that would mean, how we would support him (chaperoning dates etc) and that he has all this time now to think about what it means to be in a relationship

Go easy on ’em but also, don’t
We laughed a lot and chatted about scenarios. We want our boys to grow up respecting women and treating the ones that they are close to with respect. Yep – I am not buying into that “my son’s a heart breaker” crap. Why? Because I have a daughter, and I will not allow my boy to treat a girl any differently to how we would expect a boy to treat our own daughter. Moms, you are raising someones future husband! You are raising someones future first love! I take that very seriously.

I figured that this last one right here is the most important, yo. I can’t always be with my kids but I know that God can. So I pray that they will make good decisions and I pray that they will be leaders in their sphere of influence and not followers who easily succumb to peer pressure. If you are a praying parent, it would also be a good idea to pray WITH your kids. It helps them to take responsibility for their feelings and actions.

So yes, that was my horrific experience this week. And please, don’t be fooled, all of this looks REALLY good on paper – but truth be told I honestly don’t know how it’s going to turn out. But I do know that I want my kid to grow up to be a really superb adult and I figured that this is a pretty good start.

Moms, dads, what would you do in this situation? Do you have a plan in place for when your little one wants to start dating? Leave your wisdom in the comment section below.

Disclaimer: I received permission from my teen to share this post.


  • Venean Bosch

    Jor! Unfortunately I have no words of wisdom for you. But thanks for making my hair stand on end at the thought. Eeeck love how you handled it. Kyle is lucky to have you guys as parents! Xxx

  • Melissa Javan

    It’s a good thing you wrote this, because I naturally would just freak out in such a situation. You handled it good mamma. Well done. Thank you for the step by step guide. Boundaries are important.

  • Carolyn Augustus

    Thanks soooo much for this. I too had my daughter at a young age, I was 20 and she is also 15 turning 16 this year. And like yours, my family is also “super” blended as I call it when it comes to the kiddies. Hubby has, I have and we have together,lol. I am trying to prepare myself for when my daughter feels she ready to “date”, which I hope is NEVER! I love how you “handled” the situation and I’m definitely taking a page from your book in preparation,hehe. You’re a star!

  • Gaby Moodley

    OMG! I almost died this year when my 11 year old son decided to have a Valentine. Luckily it was just for the day and he decided he isn’t ready for the drama that comes with girls. Hahaha

  • Carren Brandt

    Remind me to read this every few months please! We also have a blended family over here and three boys at that! I so don’t want to freak out when we have to approach that topic. It’s a blessing to have a husband that is a super role model on how to treat the woman you love…
    So I’d say single mom’s talk to your boys about how u want them to treat ladies; seek out someone your son can look up to and want to be like when he grows up…
    If ur child has a loving daring husband the battle is half won!
    I’m Praying with you for our kids to make sound decisions when it comes to the life partners they choose!

  • Juwayra

    Luchae, I am starting to panic already. We have spoken about the topic and from what I’ve learnt, her friends she had on Primary school, yes primary…we’re talking about & dating already. I think it was without their parent’s knowledge. This scares me. Alot! When you get some advice, please forward it to me!

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