Monday, September 28, 2009

Group Therapy-Can we get your advice?

Okay! I'm not sure quite when I want to do our "Group Therapy" day. Monday? Wednesday? I can't decide.

So I thought I would try it today and see how it goes. But it might be snuck into Wednesday's to break up the Male/Female perspectives!

What this is, is questions that have been emailed to me from people who want an opinion or advice on certain things. If we don't have questions to help with, I always have statistics dealing with marriage or relationships that I like to throw out there and have you guys compare yourselves to the "average" relationship and then we discuss it.

Email your questions that you want discussed in "Group Therapy" and see what advice or help or discussion you get from it to

Here is our first question/topic up for discussion! Let us know what you have to say:

Teenage sons (almost 16) and their girlfriends. How much leeway do we give them to express themselves? Is young love still possible? And is it scary? For parents?

That’s the boat I’m in. My son and his girlfriend celebrate a year together this coming week. And they are hooked on one another.

So what do you guys think? Let us know in comments and feel free to comment anonymously!


We got our FIRST award! I'd like to thank the academy... and Sage who gave this to us!

I'm not going to argue, we DEFINITELY give good blog around here! :)

And if you have time, Sage also pimped out our blog over at his site check it out if you want to! I have officially named Sage our PIMP M-eye-STER! lol!


Just Jules said...

I am not in the situation of having a child this age (yet). But, I still remember being that age

(I'm not THAT old-geeez, or maybe my memory is THAT good)

My parents were strict. No boys over, no being over at their house. Curfew was midnight or before, need to know where I am at all times etc. Plus I knew they had certain standards and morals they expected me to uphold.

Having that pressure taken off from me was a nice thing. I was allowed to go out with guys don't get me wrong.

The only thing I wish my folks would have done was be more open about sex - not just putting down the fist and saying "don't do it" I wish there would have been more a discussion as to why, and feelings, emotions, how things change, where the lines are and what constitutes crossing them. I grew up thinking sex was a bad thing and that hurt me later in life.

Not sure this is what you are looking for. But, basically. An open discussion where you discuss what you feel is appropriate and why (my friend's mom did this with her daughter and her boyfriend together) can't hurt anything.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I also do not have a child this age, but what I have seen is if you try and keep them away from each other it only makes them want each other more.

I believe young love is completely real...yet I also think that young kids miss out on the fun dating can be when they strap themselves down to one person.

As a parent it would be really scary because when they get into serious relationships like that early, to me, they tend to grow up faster... They have to long a life to be mature and be an adult...or an irresponsible adult, but either way its a long time.

Yet who am I to tell them there love isn't true...or real? How do I really know that?

I know plenty of people who have married their high school sweethearts and have great marriages.

I would just make sure that they or at least your son feels comfortable talking to you guys about things so you are open to talk to him where he will listen and he is open to talk to you so you have an idea how far or close they are intimately :)

Easier said then done!

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danielle said...

I have a 16 yo step sister and a 17 yo step-daughter. Not sure if this qualifies me to answer, but step daughter has a serious boyfriend and is allowed to spend every waking moment with him at his apartment. Although she is a good kid, I think she is missing out on so much and I will never allow this to happen to this extent when my daughter is this age.
I think you need rules and expectations. I just really think that someday, she is going to look back at HS and regret not doing more teenage things.

dadshouse said...

Teenage sons should get NO LEEWAY. Hey, I was a teen boy once, so I know - teen boys are horn dogs.

I'm just kidding about the no leeway. Of course, they need some leeway so that they can learn to make good decisions.

Just make sure their girlfriend gives them no leeway, and you're set!

Meagan said...

No children but was 16 9 years ago. My opinion is high school children, yes they are children, should not be allowed to date. I know there are the rare high school sweetheart situtations, but I think my girlfriends and I all regret wasting our time on boyfriends. Now that this relationship has been allowed I recommend encouraging them to date other people. Have them talk to older yet cool family members about high school boyfriends. Let them see that they normally don't work out and are a waste of youth and friend time. Encourage them to get involved in extra curricular activities and focus on school and their future goals. As long as you feel they aren't jeopardizing their future by being in this relationship. Which means explaining consequences of being intimate. Then let them be.

Missty said...

I am on my 4th 16 yr old son! Yes, our youngest of four boys just turned 17 so we have been down this road.

Teens need leeway. I think the tighter the grip - the crazier they go the minute they are at college. We have seen it a million times with friends.

All of our boys have had "girlfriends" Some of those are just girls that are friends other times they are the real girlfriend. lol And a parent can never tell the difference without asking the son. lol

We have the girls over, and the boys can go to the girls house. I get pretty dam upset if the girls parents pull the "You can't go to the boys house" card. Really??

They come over, play games, hang out, play on the computers, etc. AND I get to see them, and listen to them.

They can have the girls in the bedrooms - BUT the doors stay open!! All of our bedrooms are easy to walk past, and listen in to.

If you say to much on how you don't like someone... it might make them like that person that much more.

Now we have a 25 and 23 and 20 yr olds, and they all still value our opinions on the girlfriends, etc. They ask what we think, etc.

Missty said...

Meagan - really you think you having boyfriends were wasted time in high school?

I see it about learning about yourself and others. What you like in people, what you don't. How to communicate with the opposite sex. If your a guy how to open doors, how to talk to parents. Even a girl needs to learn to talk to a guys parents. Paying a restaurant bill and tip, etc. Making plans.

And you get comfortable. The girls and guys that are at our house have fun and are comfortable.

PJ - Our life said...

I agree with Missty, they have to have some leeway. I think it is fine if they come to your house or to thier house, but a parent (a responsible one) must always be present and doors always opened. A a good open line of communication is key. I don't have any kids this age yet, but it's coming. SCARY!!

April said...

I agree with a few of the others that having a good line of communication is key. Talk to your child about sex, if you haven't already. I'm sure you'd prefer him not to have it, but if he does, he needs to know how to be safe. He needs to know he can come to you. You may think you have a good line of communication, but often times that's not the case.

If you do give leeway, make sure there's a clear set of rules.

My son is only 11, but I have 3 teenage sisters whose lives I'm very involved in. I actually had to have the sex talk with the oldest one because my mom was afraid to.

As Jules mentioned, not talking to your kids about sex and making it a bad thing to them can have a negative affect on them in adulthood. The same thing happened with my boyfriend. He grew up in a very strict, Catholic home thinking sex is taboo.

Good luck! I'm certainly not looking forward to being in your shoes in a few years.

Chief said...

My son is 13 and it is coming. I plan to continue with open honest communication. No subject is taboo. He is well into puberty and his body has changed to be more like and adult...I have tried to keep that communication open so that he isn't embarassed about his sexuality.

As far as dating, I think it is MUCHO IMPORTANTE that they date in high school. They need to learn how to deal with their emotions rather than stifle them. They need to break up and get back together. They need life experiences. Group dates at 16 seem reasonable to me. One on One dates at 17. Everyone is going to feel differently about this based on how they were raised. My mom was hush hush and like Jules, it has hurt me in my adult relationships. Have their significant other over so you can see their interactions and give feedback.

This is how I hope it will go, I am praying it will work this way :)

Hubman said...

My son is just 9, so my head is still happily in the sand on this one.

I'm trying to find the words to describe how I hope to approach this someday, but will instead stick with "yeah, what Jules and April said!" They are a pair of pretty bright chickies ;-)

Most important, I hope our kids see Veronica and I as someone they can talk to about anything, sex and relationships included. I would hate to have an attitude that would make me seem unapproachable to my kids.

Of course, I also joke that if Darling Boy comes home at 16 and tells me that he got his first blowjob, I'm gonna high-five him, but if Princess Persistent tell me she gave her first one, it's off to the convent for her!

Oh wait, sorry Shelle, that should read "oral sex", not "blowjob" ;-)

Missty said...

We do the open and honest approach to sex talks. I always thought I would be off the hook - having four boys. My husband would take care of it. But not so!! LOL I have pretty much answered all the questions. Just because we answer them as they are asked, and that is in the middle of the day, etc.

And now... I get to hear things I don't want to or need to with my 25 or 23 yr olds!! LOL UGH!

Because we have been fine with talking about sex since the boys have all been little, its not taboo, or embarrasing. It is what it is - sex.

And yes we talk about waiting till your older, mature, etc. but not that it is bad. And you will go to hell, and your horrible if you do something.

And Bingo to Chief - I agree.

Anonymous said...

I don't know any thing about you or your family so this is not a judgment call on you personally...
what I do know about is teenagers or pretty much any sexually reproducing species who are in long term "love" relationship.

I don't mean to freak you out or maybe I do?... but I am going to wager that your son and his girlfriend have already been sexually involved with one another. maybe they have not gone all the way yet due to the "oral is moral" mentality now days... I am just saying

so as far as leeway I would say that you are not really in much of a position to stop "it" from happening.

Anonymous said...

I don't know any thing about you or your family so this is not a judgment call on you personally...
what I do know about is teenagers or pretty much any sexually reproducing species who are in long term "love" relationship.

I don't mean to freak you out or maybe I do?... but I am going to wager that your son and his girlfriend have already been sexually involved with one another. maybe they have not gone all the way yet due to the "oral is moral" mentality now days... I am just saying

so as far as leeway I would say that you are not really in much of a position to stop "it" from happening.

According to Ana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Don't know why it published twice?

It's suppose to read ***What I do know is that...

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I agree with Meagan in that you should encourage them to date other people. I do however believe they should date because dating is fun!

I dated mostly in groups or with another couple and I never dated the same boy twice in a row...that was in high school!

College was a whole other story! ;).

But I also have many friends that regret dating most of their time with one boy...they think of it as a waste also.

Yea they grew and learned from it, but they always tell me they are sad they missed out on a lot... I'm just saing it how I hear it!

Carry on :)

Anonymous said...

I have three sons. My youngest is almost 18. This is what I know... there are good girls and bad ones. You know what I mean, some are really out there to make claim on your son! We had one, we called her satan in a dress, evil!!! Not to say there arent good kids getting in trouble, I am jsut saying some girls...

Doors open, keep the lines of communication open, talk to them about YOUR expectations, YOUR values, talk to them about modesty, some girls get in the middle of it all and try and play son against family...

TALK TALK TALK to your kids....

Cherie said...

We don't even let our kids date until they are 16 and since they have years of dating ahead of them we don't encourage them to get serious with anyone in high school.
We encourage them to go on group dates the first year they are dating and while they are in High School we have a rule that they cannot date anyone 2x in a row. So a daughter can date Mike on Friday night but if she wants to go out with him again on Sat. night she better have another date during the day.
This has worked out great because not only do they get to date many people but they don't get tied to one person, which they do not need when they are so young.
Being too close to one person just makes staying away from pre-maritial sex too hard. It does not matter how good a kid is the temptation is great.

Anonymous said...

Cherie, so what if said daughter dates Mike on Friday night, no other dates for a couple of weeks, then Mike asks again? She can't go, because no one has asked her out in between? So there she sits, waiting till someone elses asks, in the mean time Nice guy Mike is waiting or maybe just moves on, because the daughter isn't available to go to a football game?

I have heard some people do this. I can never wrap my brain around it. I get the so they date a bunch of people, but in our area kids tend to all hang out together anyways. You might go and leave with your date, but they all get together.

And then I have heard people who do this one date rule... Have someone else in your group ask you out, then we will get together at the football game, etc. LOL

Umm, ok, nothing like bending or breaking the rules. So even the kids think they are silly. But they can say they kept within the "rule" Obeyed the rule.

Still not sure I get it.

Anonymous said...

Ah the no date twice rule. That is a Mormon/Utah rule. Many do it. LOL Grew up in SLC as a Catholic. Had mormon friends who had that rule. They did just what anony said, Girl A, dated Boy A last week, so Girl B and Boy B will SAY they are taking out the A group and really just switch. So they didn't "lie" and didn't Break the rule. They all do it. Someone started the rule and everyone followed like fire.

And the other huge one is saying they did everything... except sex. Yep that is right. Just like Clinton. Many of those friends swear they were virgins at marriage... I guess they were, but they did everything else except penis implant.

Or the Go to Vegas to get married, have sex, then have it anulled. So the sex was ok, because they were "married" for the night or weekend.

Teens will do what they want. We need to teach them how to handle it. Talk, be open.

Don't let them be afraid of sex, or it is so taboo thats all they think about.

One day no to sex, then the parents all smile because today is the lucky day,. you will be married. HUGE issues.


wendy said...

I am just glad I have got all that behind me --raised 5 sons and 1 daughter. Teenage years are tough!! TOUGH TOUGH TOUGH. Like many mentioned, communication is KEY. Talk about Sex --don't make it taboo!! Do things with them. You can not control who your kids will fall in love with. You can guide them best you can ---but you
I fell in love with my soon to be spouse (oct 3rd) when I was 17 and 18 ----we were NOT allowed to get married because he was not the same faith as me. I did not want to be that rebellious as I did love my parents and wanted to "do the right thing----whatever that is"
We both still saw each other a couple of times years later.
We both married others --me TWICE (for the love of crap)
Now --we reconnected and couldn't be happier. That love remained strong for all these years.
40 years later folks-----from a teenage love.
Young love can be very real and powerful
We just do our best to guide our blessed teenagers

thecheekofgod said...

Interesting comments, everyone. Since I'm the one who posed this question to Shelle, I suppose I better chime in . . .

My son and I have had many excellent conversations about relationship, girls, and yes, SEX. So the open lines of communication have been established. Sure, he has his days when he clams up and I need to get creative to get him to open up, but he knows I'm here and available.

As for his girlfriend . . . she really is an amazing person. She has found ways to motivate him in ways that are positive. I mean, he showers, for heaven's sake! And uses deodorant! And is even starting to shave . . . I am so not ready for that one!


Last Valentine's Day, my wife and I took them out with us and painted the town. It was a great opportunity to not only talk to them about some very important stuff, but it gave us a chance to model for them just a bit of how relationships work. We paid to have their picture taken together at a local one-stop photo shop, and they giggled up a storm. I had a chance to talk with her mom after the evening, and she said my son's girlfriend couldn't stop talking about the evening . . . said she felt like she was walking on clouds.

Of course, they've had their moments. And they are learning how to work through those times. Both possess personalities that seem to be geared toward loyalty. They both have a few good friends and take the time necessary to make those friendships work.

Will they last? The odds seem to be against them. And I think they see that as a challenge to overcome. And if there is an ugly breakup, then they'll learn how to work through that as well.

Scary indeed . . . and yet so fun to watch. He's growing up, and he'll be alright . . .

Kim said...

Im on my 4th daughter of that age... She has a boyfriend, we like him.
our youngest is a boy.. I hope the girls he dates parents treat him well... I hope that's still a few years away.

I totally get and agree with what Missty said...

That no two dates in a row rule LOL. i think thats just teaches our kids to lie or become creative liers.. its just messed up.
I had friends who parents had the rule no french kissing and u can only kiss standing up?

we do insist that boys DATE our daughters not just sitting around all the time.. planned dates. Its a cuss word to say.. Were hanging out to my husband.

oh and the no UNDER the blanket rule too.

Southern Sage said...

Sage is z beautiful dood, I understand!