Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Teen Dating: I am not Always Convinced We will Survive Raising the Children

All I ever wanted to be was a mother.  I played with dolls until, well, I still do.  People crack me up that say "My child will NEVER do that." or "If my child did that or acted like that I would wear them out and they would never do that again."  Well good luck with all of that.  I pray that you are more successful with those words than I was.  I remember being in college and dreaming of what I would name my children someday.  I would have 6 because I did not want my children to be only children like I am.  Some of the ones I remember were Kyler and Kaylor.  They were going to be twins.  Heaven help me if I had actually birthed twins.  I would have had to raise them.  Two in diapers, two to buy baby food for, two to date, bury me now.  Yes, adorable they would have been, but a lot of work they would also have been.  Although the truth of the matter is that I would have done a great job raising Kyler and Kaylor and their 4 brothers and sisters had God had that in my life plans.  God had the perfect play for my life and my family.

My husband and I have three beautiful children.  The oldest is a girl, a most precious love who is truly a gift from God, and is almost 18, graduating from high school this year.   Our middle child is a boy, our only boy, and most special boy, who is 14.  Our youngest is a girl, age 10, and she is our frosting, our sweetness, our baby.  And then there is Zoe, our dog, who is almost 1 and had I known a dog was so great, may have had her first and left the other three off the list of family members based on their behavior on any given day :)  We planned our children 4 years apart so that we did not "boot anyone out of the nest" for the next baby to come along.  It was a fabulous plan, and one that worked perfectly for us.  We never experienced any jealously when we brought a new baby home.  Yes, we had some incidents, but overall, the older child, or children were excited to have the new baby to come home with us.  

Thanks to the good Lord, I have been able to stay at home with the children for most of their growing up thusfar.  I do think it makes a difference in the children when you are available for them.  I know many working moms who are able to do both beautifully.  I admire you tremendously.  Here is a thought that I have discovered is totally wrong:  If we have to choose a time to be at home with the children, when they are babies is the most important time.  Although this is a very important time, and you miss many firsts if you are unable to care for your children full time when they are babies, the truth of the matter is that anyone can feed them a bottle and change their diaper and talk to them.  But when they get older, SOMEONE is going to influence them, and if you are not around and not readily available, YOU are not going to be the one that influences them.  Thus, we need to be readily available physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually for our preteens and teens or they will be influenced by others and many times it won't be good.  Be available.

Let's talk about dating. I have MANY stories to tell but they will be for another day.  In my home, I introduced the concept of Contract Dating.  Contract dating is basically this:  If you want to date my daughter, we have rules, and you both may abide by them, or you will not be allowed to date.  Please fill out the paperwork, sign and date, and I hope you both have a joyful, well behaved date(and the car behind you is mine because this mother is better than any FBI agent ever dreamed of being).  If you break the rules, you will be shown the door, thanks for playing. 

 Some of the rules in the paperwork are as follows:
1. You will not cover up with blankets.
2. You will sit up on the couch. (If you are too tired to sit up, then you should go home and sleep)
3.  You will greet the adults in the home and carry on intelligent conversation with them.
4.  You will not hit, kick, pinch, grab, or restrain my daughter in any way, shape, form, or fashion, even in a playful way because we do not find that behavior playful or amusing.
5.  You will not download or listen to explicit music, videos, or media to our computers.
6.  You will treat our daughter's brother and sister with respect and give them the time of day when they enter a room.
7.  You will not touch the torso area of my daughter, and she will not touch you in the torso area.
8.  You will only use Princess terminology when talking to my daughter.  You will not use expletives, or any language that could be defined as verbally abusive by the parents.
9.  You will not cuss in text, phone calls, or in person.  If you are tempted to cuss, we will help you to broaden your vocabulary so that you can use other words that are less offensive.
10.  You are not allowed to drive my daughter's car unless prior permission is given or blood is involved.

I have read and agree to the terms and conditions of dating the Anglin daughter.  Any violation of these rules will result in immediate termination of the right to see her.

Signed_______________________________ Date___________________

Daughter_____________________________ Date___________________

The idea of contract dating has been very successful here in the Anglin Home.  It has successfully rid us of a toxic boyfriend, and has also caused our daughter to be selective about who she dates because only the best kids would not be scared off by such a contract.  I have found from experience, that children will rise to the occasion, and boys will comply if they know what you expect from the get go.  Also, contract dating removes the blame from Mom and Dad.  Your child and their boyfriend/girlfriend are in charge of their ability to date.  They violate, its their own fault, not yours.  They knew the rules and signed the paper.

Now THIS is a lot to ponder.  I have many more facets of raising the children for another day.  Take heart, weary pilgrims, for if your children are small, at least you know where they are.  They are right under your feet crying.  When they get older, you are chasing them around to make sure they are doing the right things, OR, like most people, you are just burying your head in the sand and not paying attention to what your teens are doing.  NOT GOOD!  Don't even for a second believe that your child wouldn't do that.  That is self fulfilling prophesy...They WILL do it.  It is unusual if they don't.  Look around at all the fine, church going people around, and even look at yourself.  Did you behave like you would want your children to?  Ok then.  Take measures and chase.  Become an FBI agent.  Pray a LOT!  It will save the children.  

Enjoy your day, and I hope you learn something from my experiences.   


  1. Like an F.B.I. Agent would drive such a Groovy mobile...hah!!

    1. Only the grooviest of FBI agents drive Groovymobiles :)

  2. I love your blog, Jennifer. What I love the most is that I can actually hear you talking in my head while I'm reading it, as though we are having a conversation. Contract dating...I love it!!!

    1. Thanks!! You have made my day!! Glad to know someone is reading :)

  3. And, how do I publish a comment without using my wordpress account? Google says I have to have a blog to do that?!? - Caroline

    1. I don't know, I am new to the blogging world and am trying to figure things out also. In my dropbox it says "comment as" then it gives me options to comment as Jennifer or as Wordpress, or a host of other things.