I just love the new show Parenthood. It is full of topics all sorts of topics which I can tell are going to give me plenty of fodder for this blog. The one I watched today a dad is trying to figure out how to handle his teen age daughter having a boyfriend. Adjusting to her having a beau is more than just seeing that she is grown up and he is faced with his feelings of grief that time has flown by too quickly, that there is no going backwards and that things will only progress from here to ....sex.
One scene in particular grabbed my attention as dad comes into the livingroom and the teenies are wrapped around each other in an embrace and have basically become one with their clothes blending together. Dad makes a few akward attempts and then decides to look for an elusive baseball that he can't remember where he last saw it. This is when I wanted to have a heart to heart with the man in the television whose behavior was bizarre and unrational. The teen boy outplayed him by offering to take his son (who had thrown a fit in the midst of the teenie drama about going for yogurt) to go get some yogure. Dad of course was not to be outdone and decided to take the son himself. He could have let the teen do so however it would mean his daughter thought more of him than ever. Still it would have interupted the liaison on the couch and probably delayed further contact for another day. Instead I would say to him, TELL them to knock it off!
They are in the house under your roof. Show some respect. If that teen feels so comfortable with you that he can feel your daughter up on your couch with you in the room what do you think will soon be happening in private! HELLO! Send him home with a warning that if he doesn't behave there will be no more daughter unchaperoned. Yes, I know it is 2010 and yes, I know this sound old fashioned however, young girls still get pregnant the same way they have for thousand of years prior to 2010! Can you spell grandchildren?
NO this behavior is not appropriate. SET limits. Dating for the first few years needs to be in groups, with adults present and then double dating with curefews and check in's. Almost all children have texting capacity expect text updates and GPS monitoring until they are at least almost 18!
The more they comply, the more they earn your trust the more rope they may gain. This is a show of responsibility. Their anger is not!
Above all teach them out to treat you. Young boys need to have enough respect/fear that they no they will have to face you if anything happens.
Conversing is always a good thing and conversations about what you expect and what the conequences are going to be are also a good part of communication. It is always better to listen than to lecture or do most of the talking however, there is also a time to take a stand and be the parent!