Yesterday I was a little jealous about my mom's generation raising my generation during a simpler time.
Today I am so grateful that my generation is able to homeschool the next generation of kids.
This particular topic has been bouncing around in my head for a few days now, and I just read an online article covering the same topic...so I took that as a sign to blog about it. ;)
The topic is dating.
Now, my experience in the topic when I was in school...I never had a boyfriend. So I may or may not have a 'leg to stand on' dealing with this topic...but work with me here.
In elementary school I was very, very painfully shy. I am not sure I even spoke to a boy. Well, there was a little boy named Daniel who got picked on because his momma made him wear a tie to school. I spoke to him on the playground. He once gave me tadpoles. (The boy knew my heart.) But 'dating'? NEVER. But yes...there were little boys and girls in the 6th grade who were 'dating'. I always wondered...do they actually go on 'dates'? Or does that mean that they are just special friends during school hours? Why not just call that your 'friend'? Any way, 6th grade is the grade that I began wondering about myself...why don't any boys want to be *my* boyfriend? I must be too skinny. Or not pretty enough.
Then came middle school. There were 'dating relationships' everywhere. Except...I never had a boyfriend then either. But I watched the girls who did. They were always worried about stuff: who is he talking to? Why didn't he hold my hand today? I think I am going to kiss him after school...is he taking me to the dance?
At least they did get asked to dances. But even then it seemed like boyfriends were a lot of trouble. Still...the pressure was on. Who is your boyfriend? Are you going to the dance? And again...I was left wondering...what's wrong with me? I think I need a boyfriend. Everyone else has one. So I started wearing makeup. I joined cheerleading.
So I just worried about my grades. Middle school...there is always something to worry about.
Then high school really holds your feet to the flame. Finding a boyfriend makes you 'complete', they said. Still, I saw the arguments and stress of those relationships. But yet...I wanted one so I would 'fit in'. And I was still fraught with insecurity. Am I too fat? Too weird? Is my nose to weird? My hair?
Keep in mind...this was during a time when kids were still, for the most part, innocent.
Now...fast forward to today...
I have a friend who is a school teacher. Elementary school. She has told me of notes that she has collected in class. Notes with promises of sexual favors to a boy if that boy meets the little girl who wrote this note at the skating rink.
I have heard of a young lady in high school literally beaten up and tormented in school because she refused to have sex with a boy. This young lady is homeschooled now.
I have heard some say it is a 'badge of honor' for a girl to have been sexually active.
And yet...there is dating. With all that entails. Dating between children who barely even know how to relate to the opposite sex, yet they are expected to have a 'relationship'. Dating in a society that pushes sexuality on children at a young age, through pop music and fashions and images. In a society that pushes personal responsibility to the wayside.
And of course, social media doesn't help. If you have a Facebook account, everyone knows about every little detail of your 'relationship'. They witness your fights, your insecurities. The immaturity.
I look at my son and daughter. I want them to have a relationship when they know enough about THEMSELVES to know what they need in a mate.
I want them to have a relationship for the right reasons...not to earn a 'badge of honor' or because everyone else one.
I want them to know that being independent is a marvelous thing. Learn how to be their own person with out relying on someone else to 'complete' them.
I want them to realize that a real relationship is about love and respect. And personal responsibility.
I want them to enjoy childhood. They have the rest of their lives to worry about sexual things. You can be an adult the rest of your life...but you can only be a kid once!
So I look at my kids and am so grateful that the whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing is not even a concern of theirs. They don't worry if they are too fat or too skinny or too weird. They don't worry if all their friends will think they are a loser because they don't have a 'relationship'. They don't have all of their heart and soul poured out on social media for the world to witness.
They are too busy pursuing their own passions and developing their own characters and figuring out themselves right now.
And that's just how it should be.