MFP 261: When Should Teens Date? Lessons Learned

“An important element in forming Christian maturity in teens is creating a ‘Yes’ culture in the home, where a child can take risks, try new things, and find out more about who they are all while under your guidance.” – Mike and Alicia

With the advent of the sexual revolution in the 60s and 70s and the subsequent increase in teen sexual activity, the response of the Christian community in the 80s and 90s was to make dating among conservative Christian teens verboten.  Among many good Catholic families, there is still a wide range of opinions on when kids should start dating, even among other families that we really respect.  We have allowed our older teens to date and in this podcast we explain why.  Like most of what we do, we have not guided our kids perfectly every time, but we have done it intentionally and we have learned some things over the years that we can share with you.  Listen in to this podcast on mentoring kids during this essential time of development.  

Key Takeaways:

  • Not all dating is the same – there are different levels.

  • We need to prepare our children for healthy relationships and this includes giving them dating guidance.  How you do that is up to you, but it needs to be done. 

  • Create a YES culture in your home.  Freedom and responsibility go together

  • Casual dating is for teens, serious dating is when you are ready for marriage – in college and beyond.  Don’t confuse them. 

Couple Discussion:

  • Have we created a yes culture in our home? 

  • What was our dating experience like? What would we like our children to imitate from our experience?  Avoid? 

  • What are our “rules for dating” for our children?

References to be included in summary: 


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