Do you allow your kids to bring their boyfriends or girlfriends into your home? I’ve met many house parents who are proud that a member of the opposite sex has NEVER entered their home.
This puzzles me. Have we never been teenagers before? Have we forgotten what dating was like? The house parents who don’t allow bf/gf to visit in their home always talk about raging hormones and such, but that’s exactly why I do allow my girls boyfriends to visit.
Now don’t get me wrong, I make them stay in a public place. I check on them frequently, and I always get to know the boy, telling them my expectations. I get involved with my girls relationships offering advice and opinion as much as possible.
Look, if you never allow your kids to date, if they can’t bring home this person they THINK they love, what do you think they will do? So often they will end up in the bushes somewhere. What’s more scary still is that you can set up a “Romeo and Juliet” relationship where the kids think “it’s us against the world” and then you’re asking for even bigger trouble.
I suggest the following.
1) Get to know the person your child likes.
2) Invite them over, talk to them, lay down ground rules.
3) Let the bf/gf know that you are involved in your kids lives and that can be good or bad for them, it’s up to them.
4) Talk frequently to your kids about why you do what you do and what you expect from them in return.
5) Supervise, interact, and walk around like a warden when the visits happen. I am very relational with my kids, but when their boyfriends visit I don’t care if I act like a prison guard (lol). I care about my kids too much to allow anything to happen, but I also care to much to ban bf’s from my house because I KNOW the result of that approach.
At least think about it..
This may surprise some people considering the history I have with Adam but I 100% agree with him on this one.
In addition I would like to add that I feel much better when my son’s girlfriend is here than when he is out with her, because when they are here I know nothing inappropriate is happening. Same goes for kids I’ve had in the past and also in the future when our daughter and other children become old enough to be immune to cooties.
I know sooner or later I will be dealing with this issue. At present I have no kids that are at the dating stage, but we are getting close. It’s kinda one of those things Iv’e taken for granted. I really don’t even know our policy on it- but will be finding out shortly after seeing this post.
What are the limits of personal display of affection?
How do you handle (or do you) off campus dates, for example movies?
Just the nature of what we do, supervision has to be a constant. I am very curious as to how to effectively balance the supervision and personal space with teens that are at the next level of developing a healthy relationship with the opposite gender. I believe a lot of facilities choose to not even allow a dating relationship to happen because of the above mentioned concerns and the unmentioned but obvious sexual concerns.
I let our girls sit with their boyfriends. I must be able to see their head and hands at all times.
I try and make other kids sit in the same room with them when at all possible. I often try and have double dates in the home, not just ONE couple in a room by themselves.
PDA can be no more than one arm around a shoulder or a head (high) on a shoulder. That’s it.
Off campus dates are granted based on trust, level of student (we have levels where I work that kids earn by behavior and attitude), and their willingness to allow me to know about their relationship and talk to me and or my wife about it.
I do like the level achievement systems. It really gives kids something to work towards and a little easier on staff discussions as to which kids qualify to do what without all the drama a treatment team can muster. Kind of makes me long for the ole’ Boys Town Achievement levels.
Cool topic- Looking forward to going back on shift and finding out where we stand on the dating issue.
Have any of you had to deal with the kids that put on a real good facade of being good and trustworthy and all that, just to get on the highest level. Then once they do and get the privilege of going in town on a date, they get caught having sex and get dropped. That seemed to happen a lot at the place we worked at.
I agree teens should be allowed to date, but there should definitely be supervision.