Your daughter wants to go on a date? As soon as she hits 13 questions begins to circulate in your mind about the rules for dating your daughter. Should I let boys call the house? Where should I let her go on dates at? How is too old for boys she might want to date? Does she even like boys, yet? Well the answer is yes, she’s been thinking about them for awhile and just hasn’t told you. But as a former 13-year-old girl, I can’t but help ask is she ready for that yet?
Love is tough. But, for some reason we have it in our minds that it is a road to be navigated early. Very early on we tell ourselves that the stomach aches, sleepless nights and yearning for the presence of another is normal when searching for the right man. I think it’s time we gave that idea a second look for the sake of our daughters. We need to ask ourselves:
Should a constant cycle of heartbreak and happiness really be the norm for our daughters and sons who are dating?
I think we should do our best to protect our girls from this idea that it is essential that they kiss 100 frogs before they get to their prince. Reality is that you don’t have to kiss them all. She can examine them, she can allow them to take her out and show her a good time, but she is not required to give her heart.
As Jill Scott says there is power in those rolling hills. We need to begin to groom our daughters during these precious years for the relationship minefield that awaits them by making them fully aware of the power not only between their legs, but between their ears.
One of my favorite shows on TV is HBO’s Game of Thrones, and my favorite characters are Olenna (grandmother) and Margaery (granddaughter) Tyrell. Olenna is preparing Margaery for marriage. There house symbol (or asidual as they call it) is a flower. And, Olenna teaches Margaery how to guard her flower oh so well. Among the lessons she teachers Margaery:
1. A woman rules her house in the shadows
There’s a reason why the virtuous woman awoke early. She set her household in place before anyone’s hands could touch it. We should set our daughters to the daily routine of working in the shadows. Women should be just as powerful and forceful as men, but in a different manner. As your teen is journeying the dating world remind her through the practice of early rising that the her love work should be done early and with meditation. Help her to understand that just as men contemplate how they will interact with women, she should contemplate her interactions as well. That doesn’t mean she has to be frigid or cold, but she should certainly be strategic.
2. You don’t have to wear the mark of your last courtier
Just because one guy broke your heart doesn’t mean the next one will. Our daughters need to learn early on that dating does not have to be filled with tumultuous instances at every turn. She should know that all the boys she meets hold a lesson for her to learn. Rather than encouraging them to get back out there after a heartbreak, make sure they know that its normal to take chunks of break-time between relationships. By doing this they can examine what went wrong in the relationship, how that person did not fit with their ideal behavior in a mate and give them time to heal. Bottom-line she must be the protector of her own heart.
Single moms can model this by not hoping from relationship to relationship. Give yourself time to heal, meditate and be strategic between relationships. Married moms can do this by being strategic in how they persuade their husbands to act on behalf of their families.
3. A man should only know what you are thinking when it’s beneficial to you
I’ve been married for almost a decade and I still have a bank account that my husband doesn’t know exist. And even if he does find out about it, he will NEVER know how much money is in it unless it is beneficial for me (or the children) that he knows. My mother told me early on that a good woman doesn’t empty her pocketbook for anyone. The same is true for a young girl’s mind. Most boys learn through their mothers at an early age how to manipulate a woman’s heart strings, but that doesn’t mean he knows what’s on her mind. And a good little girl will never tell him either. She can give hints and she can leave breadcrumbs, but it is the boy’s job to be constantly chasing her. We are raised in a society that says it’s okay that chivalry is dead. Well it’s not. It’s the job of the woman to ensure this never happens by keeping the lion constantly chasing his prey. We do this by always allowing mystery to be a key weapon in our arsenal.
As a married woman, I find one of the biggest misconceptions is that a marriage is not a competition. It certainly is. Not in the way that you’re trying to be a man and he’s trying to be the woman. (Certainly not) But, it is a competition in that both of you should be two knives constantly sharpening one another. When we allow our daughters to become numbed and docile due to constant heart-break and fierce yearning for a mate, it numbs their ability to see their mates weakness. Girls turn to women who are so desperate for love that they cannot be a formidable mate. A formidable mate is one who can gracefully push their man to the next level through loving manipulation.
Keep this in mind when thinking about the who, what and where of allowing your daughter to date. Remember that the ultimate goal is for her NOT to date, but for her to find a man who will cherish and care for her the way she deserves.
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