So what do we do when "dating" and boyfriends rears its ugly head as early as 11 or 12 years old?
Click here to find out! Dating Amongst Tweens
As I asked several dads for their opinions on daughters dating, the collective opinion seemed to be a big fat no! Read here: Dads Against Daughters Dating.
Today I want to share some more similar thoughts from dads, and also how they handle the transition into inevitable dating, when their daughters ARE old enough. Because eventually she's gonna go out with someone right?
There are different approaches towards this. Hopefully in these different approaches and philosophies you can find one that works for you.
Scenario 1- When a 16 year old daughter asked to hang out with a guy friend alone, the guy had to come see the dad first at home, even if the date was just an hour at Sonic. They would chat about life, or he would throw out random questions to see how the guy handled it. That lasted for quite awhile before he stopped putting him through the process. That dad has the philosophy that boys and girls that are "friends" are never just friends, and someone always ends up liking each other. For that reason, he does not have a different category for how he treats "friends" or "boyfriends". If you want to hang out with his daughter, even as a friend, you go through the same treatment a boyfriend would.
Scenario 2- A daughter is in 9th grade. A group of friends want to go out together. Though no one claims to like each other, the group is 2 boys and 2 girls. Only because the dad knew all kids involved, and knew their families, did he allow it. If he hadn't known the kids and the families, he wouldn't have allowed it at 15. But the boys were still required to call him first, get his permission and talk to him about the outing. It had a very safe feel to it.
Scenario 3- Dad does not allow any outings at all until the boy meets with him and goes through a series of questions with the dad. Dad sets out a very clear plan of what he wants for his daughter and what he expects from the boy in his behavior.
Scenario 4- After relenting to let his daughter date at age 18 to a pretty good guy, dad still set limits on how much time could be spent together each week. It could not be together all the time every day.
Lastly, I'd like one more dad, who has two teen daughters, to share his philosophy.
"Here are my thoughts on allowing my daughters to "date" in their early to mid teen (13-17) years.
I do not see any scriptural support for allowing daughters or sons to date in the traditional American sense. The pattern we find in scripture is one where dating (courtship or even engagement might be a better description) was for the purpose of leading to marriage. So unless I, as a father, am ready to let my daughter marry between the ages of 13-17 then dating is not an option.
I am all for my daughters getting to know someone better who they have an interest in, through correspondence and conversation in controlled environments, but even then not until the mid teen years. During this time they should observe the young mans spiritual walk, how he treats her, how he treats his mother and siblings and his respect and obedience toward his father.
Then assuming they find themselves compatible with one another and could see that the relationship could lead further towards the engagement and marriage path, I would be comfortable before the Lord that a "dating" relationship could begin."
This dad's daughter, when she was 18, had a boy interested in her. He approached this dad and asked if he had permission to get to know his daughter better. The boy and girl wrote letters back and forth and texted for a few months (happened to be long distance, family friends who had moved away). Then he approached dad again and asked if he could commit to a more dating relationship with her, meaning that he could foresee the possibility of wanting to marry her one day. Permission granted. So phonecalls and skyping joined the letters and texts. Two years later they are still dating and visiting each other.
Basically, there are many routes to take. These dads just want to make sure their daughters are well treated and respected and protected. There are still dads out there who set boundaries and require things of boys. It isn't always easy to do, because girls may resist it and find it unnecessary, but a decent guy is usually up for the challenge. So dads if you're feeling old school or wimpy, step up! You're not alone. Though it's not as common, there is still a need for dads to play their protective role over their daughters.
As my husband puts it, as the girls get older, he can't stop things from happening, but he can definitely be a good speed bump.