Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Is Your Daughter Ready to Date? Part Two

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Last week, we discussed signs that your daughter is not ready to date. If she lacks Emotional Maturity in Self-Control, Empathy, and Personal Responsibility, she is not ready to date. Of course, it is hard to want to spot the negatives in your daughter, but it is something to be aware of. Today, let’s discuss the characteristics of someone who is Emotionally Mature and ready to date. To read the first part, please go here.

Sometimes, as a society, we feel that once our child hits a certain age they are ready to experience certain things in life. Dating is one of those things that we believe can start at a certain age. Sometimes a 16 year old is ready to date, and an 18 year old may not be. Why? Emotional maturity. So let’s look at some of the signs that your daughter may be ready to date.

Your daughter would demonstrate that she has empathy by:
  • Trying to see things from another person’s perspective
  • Changing her behavior out of concern for others
  • Forgiving herself and others, in reasonable time
  • Setting boundaries in relationships
  • Listening to others’ feelings and needs
  • Recognizing her emotions
  • Talking about her feelings and issues with those that she is close to and trusts
  • Feeling connected to and loved by others, herself, and God.

Your daughter would show personal responsibility by:

  • Accepting feedback from others about her behavior
  • Admitting she is wrong and taking action to correct it
  • Being realistic about commitments
  • Saying ‘No’, when needed
  • Asking for and accepting help
  • Accepting responsibility for mistakes, but still feeling that she has value
  • Using active language
  • Making plans and commitments, and following through
  • Asking for forgiveness
  • Looking others in the eyes
  • Being honest.

Your daughter would show that she has self-control by:

  • Showing an ongoing effort to have more self-control over problem behaviors
  • Being willing to change behaviors she enjoys but which cause harm or problems to others
  • Continuing to seek help through counseling, books, and people she trusts
  • Continuing her positive efforts, even when others are not supportive
  • Setting goals and achieving them
  • Doing what she says she will do
  • Going to school each day, doing her duty, and obeying the laws
  • Respecting authority figures, laws, rules, etc. (even if she wouldn’t be caught and punished)
  • Accepting the consequences of her choices without acting out or getting angry.

Now, this isn’t to say your daughter needs to be “perfect” to date. She will still have problems, weakness, and issues. The difference in what makes her emotionally mature is the way that she handles these problems.

When your daughter is emotionally mature, she will be ready to date.

Next time we will discuss dating rules that you should set with your daughter so that she will be safe, and not get into an abusive and manipulative relationship.

***Taken from Dating Game Secrets for Marrying a Good Man by Alisa Goodwin Snell.

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