SOS! I'm stuck in a dilemna concerning easy child!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by ThreeShadows, May 4, 2009.

  1. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Okay, so I was born in 1949, raised very strictly, didn't date until I was 18y.o., unless you count my kissing cousin from France who hasn't written to me since I reminded him of that wonderful Summer (le sigh!), no sex until 20y.o.

    easy child has been invited to go to a restaurant (not the romantic kind) with a young boy who will be celebrating his 14th birthday with this event. She will be 13 next month. As I understand it, they will be alone during dinner and will be joined by a group of friends afterwards at the movies.

    They are both very mature for their age, both honor roll students. I am always over-reacting to the morals of the young. He happens to be from Zimbabwe, father very strict.

    Our instincts have been to say NO. This invite is for this Thu.

    What would you do?
     
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    That seems a bit young for a boy/girl dining-alone experience. The group thing at the movies might be o.k. -- I would be inclined to drive easy child there separately and pick her up when the show is over. If she were 14 and he 15, I might consider allowing the dining thing. I tend to be conservative about these things.

    In the end, you have to follow your instincts, I think.
     
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I wouldn't let my son date at this age- in my definition, that means going with a girl to a place alone, I don't count chaperoned events or school events where they are supervised and not alone. BUT, given that this seems safe (it's in a public place and not a lot of time "alone") AND it sounds like a "special reward" for good behavior/good grades is warranted and you feel like this boy is being raised in a good way, I think I would let her go. I'd probably subtly let them know, though, that dating still isn't allowed just yet as a general rule.
     
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Nope.

    Wouldn't........and didn't let my girls. Under 16 there had to be parents present.

    Follow your instincts.

    Hugs
     
  5. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Gosh 3S, that's a tough one...

    easy child is only 12. I don't think I'd feel comfortable having her out on what is ostensibly a date, alone with a boy in a restaurant. Now, if it were the group of friends, and at least a parent or 2, that would be a different story.

    Can you talk to the boy's parents about your concerns, see if someone is available to chaperone? Or maybe arrange to have dinner at the same restaurant, a few tables away just to keep an eye on things? Let your easy child and the boy know that you plan to do this for their safety and your peace of mind, but that you won't intrude on their evening?

    Not really sure what to suggest...it just feels funny somehow.

    Trinity
     
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    You know, you could let her go but let her know that you'd stay in the restaurant until she was around the other kids- just not stay right at her table. difficult child and I were out to eat once when he was in elementary school. We happened to bump into a girl he "liked" and she was there with her mom and grandmether. We let the kids sit together at a table of their own for a bit, but we could still see them.

    ETA: Trinity was typing at the same time I guess (great minds!!).
     
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'd ask her what she thinks. It's been my experience that kids who are on "the cusp" od dating, often times want to express their feelings. Often they are not comfortable and want to talk about compromises. Good luck DDD
     
  8. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    I like KLMO's advice. I won't sit with you two, but I'll be in the building...watching. ;)

    Abbey
     
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hmmmm.....How are they supposed to get to the restaurant? How are they supposed to get from dinner to the movie? Is this like Applebees which is located in the same mall as the movie?

    If it was something like an Applebees or a Rockin Robin or something like that and they could just walk in the mall to the movies...well maybe. Of course, like all good parents...you could also happen to snag a booth across the restaurant...lol. Or just grab a tall soda at Wa Wa and sit in the parking lot. (thats what I would do...lol)
     
  10. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    WOW! Thank you for all your prompt responses! You all really are a family. All my elders are dead and unable to advise. I'm not saying that you are old, just wise.

    Well, easy child took the problem out of our hands! She just told us she has no interest in going "to a greasy burger joint" and that she would rather husband be the one to drive her to the movie, not the boy's father, because she wants husband to pick up her best friend on the way there. So, I guess her girl/girl friendship is her priority...

    You know, we got so used to the "conflama" (that word needs to be patented!) of raising two difficult children, that we both assumed yelling, hurt feelings and tears would be part of our dinner tonight. easy child just blew me away.

    I will be asking you often about how to deal with the pressures of this modern society because we both had weird upbringings and were never "popular". We don't know what it's like to be both physically beautiful as well as smart. We don't know how to keep her safe without stifling her young soul. This board is a gift, I can't wait to meet you!
     
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    My family was very VERY strict.....

    At 12 going on 13 we wouldn't have even HAD to have asked.......period.

    Some things it's okay to say NO WAY - WAIT...
     
  12. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Yeah, Star! Notice I said "I can't wait to meet you"! Please show up, I will nag you to death.
     
  13. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Funny little girl story - and now that I'm older it's really amusing.

    I was burned very badly when I was young - I spent a year in a burn unit and ten more years covered from my neck to my toes to avoid permanent scaring. I still have some pretty bad ones but had 65% of my body with 3rd degree burns at age 6. (coffee pot)

    SO imagine my delight when I turned 12 and we were finally FINALLY allowed to get a bathing suit like everyone else - until this day I had to wear long sleve gymnastic suits and tights outside to the lake- real pain.

    So when we got bikinis (me and younger sis) I could NOT wait to wear it. I even faked being sick to lay out in the sun in our back yard. Our back yard butted a cemetery and there were workers over there who usually cut through our road to get to work. Workers who were eyeing a little girl with bad intent and coaxed me to the fence. Yup - at 12.

    Wellllllllll myDad saw this and my Mom called us in. That was the end of the bikini and sunbathing and skipping school, and nearly the end of the cemetery worker. The work day ended for that young man - around 5:00. My father (not an avid hunter but owned a double barrel shotgun) sat on the trunk of his car- at the end of our drive with that shotgun open across his knee - called the guy over and had what I can only assume was intense words with him and then clicked his shot gun (totally void of ammunition) shut and walked in the house. My father years later would tell me that he told the boy "The shells for now are in my pocket. IF I see you watching my 12 year old daughter again - they'll slide RIGHT in this gun."

    The hedges grew pretty high that year on the other side of the fence....

    Pop never had to take that shotgun out again......and we didn't even knew he had it until that day. lol
     
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm fine with my 12 year old hanging with her friends, both boys and girls, say, at the movies (with parents driving and picking up). She's done that 100 times. Sometimes, er, I drop by early before the movie is over and nothing is ever going on--in fact the boys usually sit by the boys and the girls the girls. However, she is not allowed to go one-one with anyone of the opposite sex alone. She can meet some boys at Taco John's with her friends--they all hang out there--but she can't date. Frankly, she has indicated to us many times, including recently, that she doesn't want to have sex until she is 21 :D so I'm not too worried. Perhaps I'd be different with her if she seemed headed for trouble, but she is so level-headed.
     
  15. eekysign

    eekysign New Member

    If it helps, from someone closer to the teen years (although, sadly, not as close as I'd like to be!!): there still isn't any clear cut answer. ;)

    At 12, I totally could have gone out on a date with a boy, dropped off by parents in a public location, then picked up the same way within a reasonable amount of time. Dinner's not really any different than the two of them roaming the mall or something - and at that age, kids are interested in "dating". Doesn't mean too much, normally. They'd probably sit and chat awkwardly for an hour, then be thrilled when their friends showed up. :)

    That said, there's no way we would have sent Sis off on one at 12. For one thing, she was a mega-late-bloomer, so she wasn't anywhere NEAR mature enough to handle that. She had no impulse control - we wouldn't have sent her to the mall by itself, without an adult at that stage.

    So yeah, depends on your kid. I went to weeks-long summer camps at 12, and from what I remember, learning how to date is the least of your worries. If your gal wants to "play" at being a grownup, and she's not doing it behind the school with a pack of smokes, the entire football team, or a gun - this is probably a behavior you WANT her to learn right the first time. in my humble opinion, there's definitely a place for parent-sponsored, parent-guided "date experiences" in the middle school world.
     
  16. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Well, flags would have been raised for me as well, but it appears that you have a very capable girl on your hands. She has made the right decision and you can breathe a sigh of relief. I can only hope that my daughter would make the right decision in that case. Good job, Mom!
     
  17. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    When my daughter was 14, we allowed her to go out for dinner on Valentine's day with a 16 year old. His mom picked her up (where I live, kids don't drive alone till 17) and then she parked outside the restaurant and ate dinner in her car!

    If she hadn't done it, I would have.

    I say she can go but perhaps you and H or you and a friend can have dinner or be close by during dinner. I would also bring her and pick her up.

    My son will be 13 next month and the thought of him with a girl is terrifying.
     
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