Sunday, September 26, 2010

Guys vs. grenades

The fifteen year old from a few days ago isn't alone: this girl in today's Ask Amy is 17, and also not allowed to date.
DEAR AMY: I am 17, and I don't know how to talk to my parents about letting me date. I've never had a boyfriend because my parents always said no.

I understand that having a relationship at 15 is too young, but my father has told my brothers and me that he was 17 when he started dating, so I think I should be able to date too.

I am the oldest child and the only daughter. My parents might be afraid of my getting pregnant as my mother did at a young age.

I am planning to go into the military service fairly soon.

How can I talk to my parents about this?
Amy offers some practical reasoning and compromise for her to try:
Ironically, if you are permitted to date while still living at home, this will give your parents an opportunity to see you navigate in the dating world, to check out your choices and to influence you in a positive way.

As it is, I worry that you'll go into the military with no interpersonal relationship experience. That could spell trouble for you.

Dating is important because it teaches you how to discern. It helps you figure out what makes other people tick. And dating is fun.

Start by asking your folks what might be acceptable. If they won't let you go out on a date, would they let you invite someone over to the house?

Lulu: "Yup, your parents are wrong!" That still doesn't really give her anything to actually do.

Ashley: She asked how to talk to her parents, and I guess Amy answers that. She tells her to ask specifically what she is and isn't allowed to do.

Lulu: I guess? I guess it's good to clarify the rules. I mean, really, she just needs to do what people since time immemorial have done and date anyway.

Ashley: Well, yes. Given the current world situation, it's probably safer to date than to go into the military, so why do they allow the more dangerous one?

Lulu:Yeah, her parents are cool with that? Maybe they aren't, but she'll be an adult by then.

Ashley: She can date in the military?

Lulu: I guess then she shouldn't date anyway now if she wants to train for following the arbitrary rules of superior officers. But then also no backtalk. Hers is not to reason why.

1 comment:

  1. Here are my two wildly disparate solutions!

    Solution One: The LW should evaluate points of actual power that her parents have over her and separate them from the perceived power that parents have over their children. Once that is done, she should just start dating because parents are impotent figureheads in a late-teen's life. At that age parents only rule through habit, aided by a memory of their former position of strength!

    Solution Two: Sure, the LW can go talk to her dumb parents. But she should lead the conversation towards that teenage pregnancy - here's the kicker, especially because she is the oldest child and therefore presumably the result of that early pregnancy, they aren't allowed to bemoan it as a mistake that ruined their lives! She should manipulate them with girltears until they cave and agree that teenage pregnancies are a blessing from Jesus himself and therefore she can go forth and bang!

    Problem. Solved. Twice.