Friday, July 14, 2006

For Crazy Aunt Pearl

I have an addiction, a blog addiction. There are a few blogs that I just have to read. My day is not complete when they don't update. Well one such blog is www.crazyauntpearl.com. I live in California and I still get a kick out of her observations of LA.

She has recently returned to the land of dating and had some interesting observations. As a mother of a 16 year old boy, I am right in the middle of this rite of passage and I have some tips to share.

Teaching a child to date does not start when they become old enough to date. It starts from the moment they are born. (please note, my child is NOT perfect...but he has his moments)

My husband still opens doors for me, other women, the elderly and someone with their hands full. Josh grew up watching that. As he got older I would prompt him to open the door for me, other women, the elderly, someone with their hands full. A few months ago we were at the mall and the elevator in the parking structure was broken and a pregnant woman and her mom and her baby and her stroller were standing at the foot of the stairs. So many people just walked by. I held the bags and Josh helped them up the stairs. Every day you encounter instances where you can teach your children to be helpful.

The result? He started opening doors for girls long before he started dating. He even walks closest to the street. (I never taught him that, he either figured it out or dad is responsible.) He is shocked that a friend of his walks ahead of his girlfriend and never opens the door for her...unless it's a special occasion.

In Cub Scouts we always had the boys serve their parents refreshments first. They are Boy Scouts now and they do it without being told... most of the time.

But that is only half the battle. A mom can teach a son how to treat a girl, but the girls need to know how to act too. Wait for the guys to open the doors, thank them, expect them to call ahead for a date, come to the door.... Some may call it old fashioned. I call it respect.

So Josh is old enough to date now, but he has one final hurdle to jump through. Before he can go out on a date, he has to ask me out. And the rules for taking me out are quite firm.

1) He must ask ahead of time because I have a very limited schedule.

2) He must plan the date and let me know the appropriate attire.

3) He must pay for the whole thing.

4) While on the date he must use good manners, he must open doors and treat me with respect and he must prove to me that he has the skills and maturity to treat his date with respect too.

I wish I could take credit for this idea, but it was passed on to me and I love it!! It has caused Josh and I to have some great conversations about ideas for dates and what is expected. He's not in a huge hurry to ask me out, the girl he likes isn't old enough to date yet, but I know he's already planning the date.
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