A while back I talked about the importance of communication between you and your children. When the girls were in Kindergarten we started “Special Dates on Mommy’s Bed.” These still happen, but because of our open communication system they sometimes happen in the car or at the dinner table.
These are wonderful listening opportunities that can develop into awesome teaching times. As the girls have gotten older and are around more kids, their questions have started to get a little deeper. Hannah has been exposed to kids that are boy crazy or girl crazy and it has started to really bother her. We have talked about the fact that dating shouldn’t occur until they are much older but haven’t gotten much past that. It got to the point where I felt like we should have a much deeper discussion about dating. This started the idea of “Mommy dates!”
I spent time praying about what we should discuss, what verses to equip my daughter with and just generally prayed that our conversation would go well. I knew it was so important to be in prayer so that I would have the foggiest idea of what to say. There was so much information I could give her on the topic, but I wanted to discuss it at her level.
We decided to go eat ice cream and talk. It was too cold to eat outside so we sat in the back of our van and chatted. I had told her to come with any question she might have about this issue and anything else she would like to discuss. And God is good!! It was awesome how her questions lined up with exactly the concepts I wanted to discuss with her.
The main points about dating that I wanted to convey to Hannah were:
- You need to trust that God has someone for you. You do not need to rush into anything or worry about it not happening.
- You need to protect your heart. Each time you have a “relationship” a piece of your heart leaves. You want to make sure you save your heart for exactly who God wants you to date.
- Your primary focus until high school or college is to focus on God and becoming the woman that God wants you to be. Not on winning a boy. (I let her come up with areas that she would like to improve instead of telling her what she should put.)
- Dream about the character traits that you would like your future husband to have and then start praying for them. (Remember what is inside is so much more important that what is on the outside!)
We went over some Scriptures that related to these points. After we read them together, I asked Hannah what she thought she could learn from them. It was amazing at the age of 8 how well she was able to apply scripture to her own life. She wrote the points down in a little notebook so that she wouldn’t forget!
We also talked about what she should do if a boy was ever to ask her to be his girlfriend. We came up with the following script: “Thank-you. That is very kind of you, but right now I am focusing on God and not on a boyfriend.” This should make her daddy really happy!
For the most part I let her direct the conversation. I addressed her areas of confusion and tried to set a foundation of my core beliefs that I can add to as she gets older. (For example, point number two can be expanded to talk about purity when that becomes a necessary topic.)
Here is a printable with our questions and verses that you can feel free to use as a starting point. Pray and ask God how to lead you in this conversation with your own child.
Printable: | Boys 101 |
We’re interested to hear your suggestions! What ideas do you have? How have you handled this topic? What is your experience – good or bad?