Want to know real teens think about the issues? Nicole and Kendall are two local high school students who will be writing once a month about issues that often cause disagreements between parents and teens. They’ll be summarizing what their understanding of parents’ views are, their understanding of teen perspectives, and then their own opinions. Kendall will be writing from the teen boys’ perspective while Nicole will be addressing the teen girls’ perspective.
Kendall (speaking for the guys):
Imagine this: Your daughter walks out of the house exposing her cleavage and wearing a skirt shorter than a dwarf. She picks up her iphone and starts texting as she walks out the door. You ask her where she’s going and she says she’s going to go hang out with some friends. You ask if there are going to be boys there, she rolls her eyes and says “yes.” Probably a lot of parents know this scenario pretty well. And if you have a son, you’re always worried that he isn’t treating girls well enough or girls don’t treat him well enough. Dating is a tough subject and I think there are many perspectives on it.
Most parents believe that dating is healthy, as long as it doesn’t go too far. They think that dating is an opportunity for kids to learn more about adult relationships and to explore love. However, kids can sometimes get too involved in the relationship and believe that its more than puppy love. Subsequently, kids can be hurt much more deeply by breakups or infidelity. There are some parents who are either totally against dating or very nonchalant about it, but most are in between. As kids, most parents dated like we do now. They know what goes on and have experienced all the emotions we have: first love, heartbreak, lust, betrayal and jealousy. Its safe to say that parents are on our side most of the time.
Teen guys, oh boy. If most teen guys are like me, they are a raging mess of hormones and emotions. Its almost impossible to go five minutes without thinking about girls. Teen guys crave relationships for different reasons, and not always for the right ones. There are two sides of the coin when considering a teen guy. On one side you can have a caring and loving dude who is in the relationship for the emotional bond. These type of guys are really in the relationship for the love. However, on the other side, a girl might end up with a predator type of boyfriend. These guys care most about pleasing their needs; they are more into the physical aspects of the relationships. I knew a guy who dated a girl for two months just so that he could try and sleep with her. I’m not saying all teen guys are like this, but a lot are. Some are a mix of both. Parents, just be careful and make sure your daughter doesn’t fall for some guy who is just in it for the physical aspect. Also, if you have: a son, make sure he is in the relationship for the right reasons.
I have only really had one girlfriend and a couple of love interests, so I don’t even know if my opinion really qualifies. But here’s what I think: People should only start dating when they are mature enough for a relationship. Some people are definitely ready and some people feel like they never will be. High School is a time to explore yourself and your emotions. If high schoolers feel ready to date, they should make sure its not for the wrong reasons.
Nicole (speaking for the girls)
If you’re a parent now, when did you start dating? Did you ever sneak out to meet your boyfriend/girlfriend and did your parents allow you to date in high school? In general, I’ve found that a good majority of the parents of my friends don’t strictly prohibit their children from dating but they also don’t really encourage it. While many adults are not even aware that their children are dating in most cases, it is clear that most parents are hesitant, but generally fine with their children dating, as long as they take it slow and do not go too far beyond their boundaries. Trust definitely comes into play as well when it comes to dating, as parents are forced to learn to trust their children to make the right decisions. Overall, there are generally two types of opinions shared by parents on the topic of dating: 1. It is completely unnecessary and poses as a distraction and therefore teens should wait until after high school or even college or, 2. It is fine, as long as teens don’t get too ahead of themselves.
Most teen girls, however, want to date. With the constant media hype about new movies and television shows where the main character falls in love with a beautiful vampire, or superhero, it is impossible for teen girls to not think about dating. Many teen girls have come to believe that having a boyfriend is the only way to be happy, and as a result have started using infamous phrases such as “forever alone,” to label their single status. A good majority of teen girls today have come to the understanding that having a boyfriend or that significant other is what is going to “fulfill” them. Going to Homecoming with friends is now pathetic, and making out with your boyfriend in the school’s stairwells is the new norm.
Personally, I’m not completely for or against dating. Just like drinking or anything of that nature, is good in “moderation,” meaning as long as a girl is mentally and physically prepared to give up her heart to another person and she is capable of maintaining her boundaries, dating shouldn’t be a problem. Some of my friends have boyfriends, and some of them don’t. And I guess that’s the way it will always be. In the end, I think it is important to remember that dating isn’t a necessity especially for a high school student. And for those that are in a relationship, I think it is equally important to be mature enough to handle the responsibilities that dating imposes.
Parents, what do you think? Did Kendall and Nicole get it right with their assessment of parents’ opinions on dating?