I’m hoping that I have at least a few years until my kids enter the world of dating. My older boys (thankfully!) still turn shades of red at the thought of liking a girl, but my first grader is a self-proclaimed “ladies’ man.” Though they are young, it is not too soon for me to start preparing for the day when they are ready to start a relationship.
The culture is bombarding our children with what dating is supposed to look like. From billboards to social media they are constantly being told who they should date, how they should date, and what they should do on a date. As parents, we must start early to combat the secular information coming into their imaginations and work to provide a Catholic model of healthy relationships.
It’s just one of the many overwhelming issues that we face as parents. This cute short film from Disney’s Pixar features the characters from the movie Inside Out and tells the story of Riley’s first date. The inside look at what is going on in the minds of her parents is what resonated with me when I saw the video. These are emotions and thoughts that every parent can relate to.
You can begin teaching some basic skills from a very early age that will help your children learn how to make a relationship work. In our home, we talk a lot about respect. We respect one another’s bodies. We respect the feelings of others and we also work on trying to understand the reasons behind those emotions. Think about other virtues that will be important for your child to have when he or she begins dating – charity, chastity, temperance – and work on developing those.
Many times parents stop reading the parenting advice books once children are potty-trained. We forget that there are so many resources available to guide us when we are presented with a new parenting dilemma.
Catholic-Link is committed to providing our readers with quality instruction in every area of life, including dating! This coming Saturday, we will be hosting a webinar with the authors of Dating Detox: 40 Days of Perfecting Love in an Imperfect World, Kevin and Lisa Cotter. The Cotters are going to discuss the four greatest toxic beliefs that are preventing young adults from gaining the freedom to love and be loved. They have worked with college students for over a decade as a missionary family with FOCUS (the Fellowship of Catholic University Students) and their insight will help you grasp some of the crucial concepts that will be important for you to understand as your own children begin to date.
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