Raising Teenagers Today
Raising teenagers today, it’s not an easy task. Being a parent to a teenager is a bittersweet stage of life. They are growing up way too fast. Almost or already driving. Going out with friends and no, you are not invited. Asking a girl out… Wow!!! Too much too fast for this mom!
Love all the stages. So exciting to see the growth. We love to see friendships blossom and develop.
With growing up, asking a girl out is also part of the process. Yes, I wrote those words!! Asking a girl out, friend or not, it is a bit of a painful process for a boy. But, here we are, and an outing presented itself and the opportunity to have a great conversation on how to, what to, when to and what, when not to.
I have been very blessed to have being raised as well as to be married to, wonderful men that were the epitome of manners, respect and true gentlemen toward women. Therefore my expectations for my son are quite high. Since an early age it has been instill on him that ladies come first and he always should open and hold a doors for a woman. Let her order first at a restaurant, even if it is fast food. Let her chose where to sit at the table. When shopping to carry her bags. Be a good listener. The list is quite long but you catch my drift.
Now, that he is getting a bit older the game has changed. More is added to what and what not to do. The obvious “what not to do” of course is when a lady says “No” it means “No” not a variation of it. Be respectful and not arrogant or succumb to peer pressure by making fun of the decision with the hope that guilt will have effect on the person.
Back to the outing. Of course my first question was: “Do you have money to pay for your friend? ” I proceed it by telling him that he should always be the gentleman and pay for his date or friend. You should have seen the look i got back. What??? Yes, I have landed from Saturn right about now.
The question has risen as to when a young man should be paying when going out with a young lady. On this issue we could not be more divided and a great conversation started. He does not have a special girl that he likes, however has quite a few friends that are girls and enjoys going out with them.
In my son eyes and as with the new generation growing and entering adulthood, boys feel that a girl should pay, and girls themselves too, feels that they should pay for their part of the outing. This goes if you are dating or not. At this point I asked my son: “What happens if you are the one that invite her out, do you feel it right that she should pay?
As with the world view are changing, both sexes working, equality on a relationship, men and women feel imperative to participate financially. The outer world is telling them that it is not fair for only one person to pay or being in charge. Some may say that it is patronizing for a man to pay, some, that it is condescending.
So I asked mom’s of girls and boys what they feel is the right approach to this question of who should pay what and when.
From a girl mom’s perspective:
When a young lady is asked or invited out it would be nice if the young man pays without the intent and underlining that something has to be given in return. Girls do not feel safe not knowing what the ulterior motifs are thus they choose to pay their own way and not put themselves in a very awkward situation later.
Paying for their own portion of the outing gives them safety, a choice, a voice of where to go and what to do and how much is going to cost them financially.
Girls also prefer group outing too. Less pressure.
From a boy mom’s perspective:
Girls it is ok to decline an invite if you do not like the young man even if he has money, he is nice and respectful. Do not go out with him just because they will pay and you do not have to spend money. He will be more crushed that you will ever know.
Please be considerate of the place and the budget if you, the girl, are asked to make the decision of where to eat when you are on a date.
It should not be expected to pay for a girl if you are out on a group, even if there are some feeling involved.
I took those at heart and with most mom’s, the above were the common concerns, complaints that were shared.
What shocked me is what is happening out there with our kids. And, apparently on the adult woman world that happens too. What the heck!!! Where did gallantry go?
What happened when you were asked out and you expected nothing and nothing was expected of you in return? You had fun and did not feel pressure or fear. Why is it ok to expect something back? Why the lack of respect from both gender? Where did they learn it from? Is this the mirror image of the parents? Are we failing as parents?
I am at a loss here as I do not want my son to feel taken advantage of. Worse expect something back. If I had a daughter, I would have been the mom that you will never want to meet if you expect anything from her. As a parent I would feel that I have failed them both. It is very sad that both sexes fear the other.
Am I really that old school that I give the wrong advise to my son? One thing I have learned is that times have changed. The gallantry that I was raised with is disappearing with the new generation. The beauty of the romance as I have experienced is transforming into a more factual matter. That there is a reason why there is such a strong desire for equality in a relationship that stands farther out there than just being a women, a mother.
And I ask you, my readers, where do you stand? How do you approach it with your own teenagers? What advises you can share that are beneficial to all of us?