Single Parenting & Teen Dating

Written by: DCortes

Being a single parent has its challenges. More so when your children are boys and you are a single mom.  I raised two sons alone and had to be both mom and dad to them and at times that was hard!  I had to teach them all the things their dad should have been there to help with.  I taught them to ride bikes, swim, climb trees, (thank goodness I was a tom boy growing up).  But roller skating I left to the professionals!  I had to make sure they were involved in a healthy dose of sports too.  I remember one year on Fathers’ Day, I took them to a local park and taught them to how to fly kites. That was so much fun!

But, the most important lessons I needed to teach my boys were how to become respectful citizens and how to treat women with the utmost respect and dignity.  Being a women, I was up for the challenge.  We as women know exactly how we want to be treated.

       So, when they became teenagers and started to show interest in girls, I decided it was time to talk about dating.  I didn’t know how to approach the matter at first so, I leaned on my faith to help me.  I went to a Christian book store and found a book written by a young Christian author, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” by Joshua Harris.  After leafing through the book and reading the back cover, I decided that this book may be what I was looking for.  So, once a week we had bible study at home and the subject was “Dating”.  At first, my boys were not so happy about the subject, I believe they felt a little shy talking to their “mom” about girls, but I’ve always had an open door policy with my boys.  I assured them that they can discuss anything with me.  I know they wished they had their dad there at that time, but he wasn’t, so, they were stuck with me!

It was important to teach my sons that purity is the best way to go and that it is ok to remain celibate until marriage. Our faith tells us this and it was very important that we follow our faith.  I talked a little about the mistakes I made growing up and that I did not want them to fall into the traps I fell in.  In my opinion, society today has set up so many traps our young people can fall into.  Society tells us that it’s okay to follow after our hearts even if it will lead us into promiscuity.  Society tells us to be “master of our own ships” and that we don’t have to answer to anyone. I reassured my sons that they will have to answer to “Some One” and that they will pay for their consequences one way or another.  I told them that they would not want to have multiple women having their children causing a lot of “baby mama drama” in their lives.  Today, there is so much pressure are on our children- especially in social media.

The book I purchased talked a lot about how to date, the do’s and don’ts on dating. For example, dating in groups, setting boundaries and not being alone with the opposite sex.  It included that singleness does not have to be a burden. It discussed having respect for one another and yourself and being accountable for your actions and saving sex for marriage.  What I liked most about the book is that it kept our faith in the forefront.

My boys did not agree with some of the author’s ideas but I would like to think that the discussion did not fall on deaf ears. They will make mistakes as my youngest son pointed out to me one day. We as parents want to shield them and protect them as long as possible.    It’s important to teach our children about relationships/dating and that dreaded “S” word when the time is right.  In my opinion, every child is different so there is no special time to begin the discussion. Always keep an open rapport with your children.  For you single moms, don’t hesitate to ask an adult male in the family or someone close to you to help out when a male role model is needed. When I needed a male role model for my sons, I asked an adult male in my church to step in as a mentor for them and it helped me so much!  This also goes for single fathers raising girls.  Don’t be afraid to get help from books too! There are some good ones out there.  My eldest is now married and just had his first child and my youngest is living on his own, waiting for “Mrs. Right”.

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