Friday, September 16, 2011

Motherhood for Dummies....The 16 Rule

It has been a week for oh so many reasons. I am tired and I am so completely happy that it is Friday.  So in today's blog.....I am actually asking for input. Usually I don't second guess myself much. rephrase.....usually I don't second guess myself to other people much, but right now I am.

Last night, talking to an acquaintance....I was call old fashioned and told my ideas on childhood relationships were antiquated. Granted....these were some of the nicer things I have been called this week, but these hit a nerve with me. The reason for the comments? A conversation on when is a good age to let your kids start dating. When I was growing up....the rule in my house was 16. My mother was firm on that rule as I was grounded for a lengthy amount of time when I got caught kissing a boy in my basement at 15. Yeah...THAT was a memorable first kiss. I was allowed to go out in groups, have kids to my house in groups, but I was not allowed to actually go on a one on one date until the magical age of 16. I remember even back then this being a source of contention between my mother and I as I don't believe any of my friends were made to follow this rule. Back then it seemed unfair, but as I have grown older I have seen the wisdom in such a rule.

My children too have grown up with the 16 rule. Even Man Child had to wait until he was 16....not that it really mattered. He never had the money to take anyone out anyway. Now we have Z. Z is 15 and he has had a couple of serious (serious for a 15 year old) girlfriends. Yeah...I broke my rule, but with the breaking came some stiff rules about where they could go, who they could go with and strict adherence to curfews. The first time I watched my baby walk out the door with a girl (and an older one at that) I felt like a failure as a mom. I felt as if I had broken some supreme rule and let generations before me down. Did I do it right?

I still think the 16 rule is a good one. Goodness knows that even at 16 for the most's kids still have a long way to go in maturity, but if you press too hard, they will rebel. I did and when I did it was not just a little....but I went wild. As a parent I now get the fact that  parents (especially single parents) feel so protective of their kids and once those kids walk out that door, we are powerless to ensure their safety. We can arm them with a cell phone, pepper spray and body armor and they can still be vulnerable to some kind of danger. That is why we have to do our jobs as parents inside our that when they walk outside our home.....they are not only physically prepared, but also mentally. Knowledge is power.

But back to the 16 rule. As I was discussing these very thoughts with my acquaintance I was laughed at as old fashioned. I was told that NOBODY followed such a rule anymore and that kids were far more mature in today's society thanks to TV, sex ed classes and the internet than they ever were when I was a kid. When I asked what age they felt a kid should start dating, 12 or 13 was thrown out there. WHAT???? I thought they were kidding! They were not. I was floored. That is still a baby by my standards. Okay....maybe not a baby, but way too young to be on a one on one date alone. When I was 12 I think I still thought boys had cooties. I know darn good and well dating them hadn't crossed my mind at that time. What the heck is happening to our kids innocence? Why are we allowing them to grow up so fast? Am I really old fashioned and antiquated or is this just part of the break down of the family unit in today's society?

Okay....Z has been out on some dates and so far so good. Soon he will be 16 and although he still seems so young to me, I feel and hope that he has a good head on his shoulders and he is as prepared as I can make him.....short of riding along in the back seat of the car. However....I am still second guessing myself. Did I let Z start too early? So here are my questions for anyone who cares to chime in. Is 16 an antiquated age to start dating? What age is too young? Should boys be given a different age than girls? If so....why the double standard? Do shows like Teen Mom and The Secret Life of the American Teenager dissuade kids from growing up too fast or do they actually promote the glamor of it? Who truly thinks a 12 or 13 year old is mentally or emotionally mature enough to date? All answers are welcome. It is probably too late for me to back track at this stage, but you never know who will be reading the blog. Your answers may actually help someone else. do good mom's second guess themselves? Probably not, but EPIC mom's discuss their kids dating life in a blog. Z just rolls his eyes and moves on. He is used to life with mom the blogger. lol

Here is hoping that your Friday is just as EPIC as I am. Happy Friday all!


Anonymous said...

I don't know what is sadder, you having a 16 rule or you stressing over letting a 15 year old date. Do your kids get to have any fun? I am surprised you don't demand to go on dates with him/her. You are really a piece of work in the motherhood dept. Why do you even write about motherhood you just make yourself look like you have no idea of what you are doing? On the upside, your ability to screw things up does have some humor to it.

J'nelle said...

Do you ever actually read cmom's blog or do you just skim and put in your own two cents? Most of the stuff you say is so ridiculous. I would say this shows cmom to be a very good mom. She cares if her kid is growing up too fast. A lot of parents don't. And yes cmom 12 or 13 is too young. Boys and girls should have the same age and 15 or 16 is a good age depending on the kids maturity level. In my experience though, some guys shouldn't be allowed to date until their 40. ;)

Marni said...

I am going to try to be the bigger person here and not respond to Anonymous and their assinine comment. OH WHAT THE HELL!!! Are you daft or something???! Why the hell are you even responding to this blog?! You have got to be the dumbest ass person that exists!! I would love to see how your children turn out because pretty sure the minute they are born you are ....a feed youself...take care of yourself kind of parent. Shit I must be a horrible parent because I DID demand that my children take their dates out WITH US a couple of times. Guess what.....we all had a blast!!!!! Im a horrible mother...right??!!!! I try so hoar not torespond to you because thats all you post for......but this time...youre way off base. so Shut the F@#$ up!!! (Oh my.....) are doing just fine. We as decent parents ALWAYS second guess ourselves while raising our children. I think that if you dont then you are just crazy.....and I believe that 12 or 13 is too damn early to date...even group date. That is just crazy. Nothing wrong with 15 and 16 to be the age for starting to date. I didnt care that "Other kids" got to date early. THEY were not MINE!!! (Yes children were MINE!!) I actually made my daughter watch "Pregnant at 15" movie and my son watched "Father at 16" (I think that was the name) I do think that the shows you mentioned glamorize being a parent early. You need something that scares the crap out of them. LOL!!

Anyway....everything youre feeling is normal. You are doing a great job. Its normal for our children to rebel and question the rules....its what they do. But its our job to keep our children safe and to teach them to think with something other then.....well you know what Im saying!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Sometimes 16 is the right age and sometimes it isn't. I think it depends on the kids maturity, not the sex. I would say never younger than 15 but sometimes as old as 18. I am not kidding on this one. Go ahead and second guess, it keeps you on your toes. As for TV, it needs to be shut off and not watched between the ages of 5 and 50. It is all a bunch of crap. Keep up the good work. You are doing fine and making people think. That is the sign of a great blog! Peace out.

Becca Rowden said...

I think the "16" rule is a good idea. My parents didn't do that. I was dating at 13. Which looking back now, I should've waited. But at that age you think nothing will NEVER happen to you. Which I was wrong! I got pregnant with Wyatt at 16. So I think the "16" rule is a good idea!! I believe I will have the "35" rule for Wyatt!! Lol

Thiry said...

16 Is the minimum rule...and the ever dumbass anon strikes again...

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