During my classes with the 9th grade students we often discuss healthy dating practices. One of the questions I ask the students is where they learned about dating. “Did anyone sit you down and tell you what to expect? How to treat them, how you should be treated?” I get excited when there are one or two that say their parents talk to them about it. However, most of the time they scoff and say “no.”
One of the main goals of Family Frameworks is to encourage couples to date each other regardless of what stage the relationship. We do this for two reasons; couples that have fun together are more likely to stay together and it’s important to demonstrate that to future generations.
There’s one problem; they aren’t on the dates to see how it’s done.
So how do you educate them about dating?
Stop just “dating your Spouse” and start “dating your family.” This will also improve your relationship with them while teaching them how to “date.”
It is never too late or too early to start “dating” your kids. Talk with your spouse about setting up “dates” with your kids. Each of you take one on a “date” alone. Plan to learn more about them. Use this time to show them how they are to be treated on dates and how to treat others.
Remove the distractions
This is your time to be with them and learn more about what’s going on in their life. Ask them about their life and feelings. It can be hard to talk about feelings, but its important ask the hard questions. Do something that forces you to interact together. Avoid watching T.V. or going to the movies. Stay off your phone and encourage them to as well.
Sometimes you have to find your inner kid and let go. Do things they are interested in. Have a tea party, play video games, let them teach you how to skateboard. If your kids are older and the relationship is strained, put them in the place of authority and have them teach you something. Do something you normally wouldn’t do. AND HAVE FUN!!! Be a kids again.
Schedule your date
Schedule your “dates” today! Make it a priority and put it on your calendar. Make it a regular thing, so go ahead and plan several “dates.” Life gets busy and enthusiasm dies so, go ahead and make the plans.