Author Topic: Arranged teen dating by parents  (Read 10242 times)

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Offline smiragdus

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Arranged teen dating by parents
« on: April 14, 2008, 04:44:16 PM »
I'm a concerned parent and I wonder how I know my children are going to meet Orthodox Christians to date, marry, that are serious about their faith. ???  I was thinking about arranged dating. :o Please let me know if others are doing this.  Or are interested in it?

Offline FrChris

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2008, 04:48:11 PM »
From my experience, most young couples that are Orthodox-Orthodox marriages have the future couple meet through:

1. Youth groups such as GOYA or Orthodox College Fellowship/Young Adult League (obviously, I'm speaking about the Greek Archdiocese);

2. Summer Camp; and

3. They meet at church, after a Liturgy.

Good luck!
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Offline John of the North

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2008, 04:53:16 PM »
I think I'm in trouble then.....haha.
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Offline Heorhij

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2008, 04:56:35 PM »
Are your children Orthodox? (I mean, not nominally...)
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Offline EofK

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2008, 04:59:04 PM »
Option 3 is how Mr. Y and I met.  I wasn't Orthodox at the time but it didn't take me long to convert.  (Not on account of Mr. Y, though... he just happened to be an added bonus.)
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Offline Simayan

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2008, 05:00:41 PM »
As a 17 year old, I wouldn't want my mom arranging dates for me. Lol. The priest tried to work something out between myself and my godfather's daughter, but I shot that idea down pretty fast. :D

The problem is, what parents see as a "good match" for their child maybe entirely different than what would actually be a good decision. For example, several of the girls at my parish I would have considered dating based upon their Sunday conduct (which is all the parents see, usually) turn out to be heavy drinkers and party types who keep it all secret from their parents, and only disclose it at school.

And then there's the possibility that personalities just don't match.

IMO, the best bet it to just let the child make their own decision.
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Offline smiragdus

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2008, 05:03:24 PM »
My children are very Orthodox!  I don't think that the regular dating methods are the best for all.  Some may not come away unscathed.  I know that I didn't.

Offline Anastasios

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2008, 05:08:47 PM »
As a 17 year old, I wouldn't want my mom arranging dates for me. Lol. The priest tried to work something out between myself and my godfather's daughter, but I shot that idea down pretty fast. :D

Glad it didn't work out since marriages between Godsiblings is forbidden by the canons of the Orthodox Church...guess they don't apply that one in some places anymore.

Quote
The problem is, what parents see as a "good match" for their child maybe entirely different than what would actually be a good decision. For example, several of the girls at my parish I would have considered dating based upon their Sunday conduct (which is all the parents see, usually) turn out to be heavy drinkers and party types who keep it all secret from their parents, and only disclose it at school.

And then there's the possibility that personalities just don't match.

IMO, the best bet it to just let the child make their own decision.

I agree with you. I met my wife in school (high school actually) and reeled her in with me ;)
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Offline Heorhij

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2008, 05:43:58 PM »
As a 17 year old, I wouldn't want my mom arranging dates for me. Lol. The priest tried to work something out between myself and my godfather's daughter, but I shot that idea down pretty fast. :D

The problem is, what parents see as a "good match" for their child maybe entirely different than what would actually be a good decision. For example, several of the girls at my parish I would have considered dating based upon their Sunday conduct (which is all the parents see, usually) turn out to be heavy drinkers and party types who keep it all secret from their parents, and only disclose it at school.

And then there's the possibility that personalities just don't match.

IMO, the best bet it to just let the child make their own decision.

As a 50-year old father of a 23-year old, I agree 200%. :)
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Offline Simayan

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2008, 05:49:00 PM »
Quote
I don't think that the regular dating methods are the best for all.  Some may not come away unscathed.  I know that I didn't.

I agree that it's a risky game; I tried to keep it to a minimum through high school, if only because of the utter peer-pressure to have sex. But to force people into being together could cause more harm than good.

I realize you're concerned, but if your children have good sense, good character, and good morals (which I assume they do, as you said they are very Orthodox), then they will be able to make the right decision. They may end up dating a Catholic, Episcopalian, or even an atheist, but as long as the person is a good companion and no moral conflicts occur, the religion part can be worked out if they decide to marry.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2008, 05:54:09 PM by Simayan »
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Offline Rosehip

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2008, 06:01:34 PM »
I recently saw, quite by accident, a documentary produced about dating practises in our country. Different people were interviewed, including a Greek Orthodox woman. She said she met her husband at a church social event and soon became pregnant by him out of wedlock. (she was only in her teens). They then were forced to marry and he then proceeded to treat her very badly and so she got a divorce. She was talking about how "open" she is to all sorts of things, including some very impure fantasies which I will not mention here. It was very sad to hear a Greek Orthodox woman talking in such a way on public television. I shuddered to think of the impression millions were getting of Holy Orthodoxy.

In my former religion, most dating was done in a pure fashion and teens were taught about the importance of chastity in the Christian's life. Is there any way this can be taught in the Orthodox Church? I know some will think I am trying to introduce some sort of "fundamentalism", but over the years I have come to the conclusion that unless this is properly taught in the church then sad things happen as in the above scenario.

I'm not a teen, but a priest I know did try to "hook me up" with another Orthodox man-whom I rejected. Since I rejected him I have suffered terrible things and wonder if I should have humbled myself and followed the priest's advice, rather than following my own carnal will???
« Last Edit: April 14, 2008, 06:02:16 PM by Rosehip »
+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +

Offline Anastasios

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2008, 06:02:35 PM »
One of our nuns runs a program for teens where the focus is on purity, not just physical virginity.
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Offline FrChris

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2008, 06:08:19 PM »

In my former religion, most dating was done in a pure fashion and teens were taught about the importance of chastity in the Christian's life. Is there any way this can be taught in the Orthodox Church?

Just through the sharing of examples such as St. Barbara and other virgin martyrs, as well as through youth meetings.

So, yes, this concept actually is taught often. However, if it is not reinforced at home through examples and discussion, people liek myself are just spitting in the wind.
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Offline Rosehip

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2008, 06:15:26 PM »
Just through the sharing of examples such as St. Barbara and other virgin martyrs, as well as through youth meetings.

So, yes, this concept actually is taught often. However, if it is not reinforced at home through examples and discussion, people liek myself are just spitting in the wind.

Very true. I had meant to say that it must be taught by the parents in the home first of all. But in my parish there is very little practical teaching of this nature being done, sadly. I realize how fortunate I was to grow up with such teaching, although my parents really didn't talk about it much-I only heard about it in the sermons at church , reading christian books etc.
+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +

Offline arimethea

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2008, 06:40:41 PM »
Feel free to introduce me to any of your daughters.
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Offline Tamara

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2008, 07:54:38 PM »
I'm not a teen, but a priest I know did try to "hook me up" with another Orthodox man-whom I rejected. Since I rejected him I have suffered terrible things and wonder if I should have humbled myself and followed the priest's advice, rather than following my own carnal will???

Dear Rosehip,

I think there is nothing wrong with a priest introducing a couple to one another but I highly doubt your priest would expect you date someone you didn't feel was the right person for you. I grew up in the Orthodox church and met many Orthodox men over the years. Some were introduced to me by family, friends and even my priest at the time. Some of the men were from the middle east and wanted my dad to decide that I should date them. Thankfully my father never tried to force me into a relationship with one of these men. You really need to know yourself so that you can find the right man to marry.

It took a few years, but eventually I did meet the right man. I was 28 years old at the time and he was not Orthodox when I first met him but a small voice inside my head let me know that I met the right man. We married a year later and after 13 years of marriage he was chrismated Orthodox.

If I would have forced myself to marry one of the Orthodox men I had met earlier in my life then I never would have met the man I finally did marry. Luckily, I waited instead of forcing myself into a marriage with an Orthodox man who would have been completely wrong for me.

sincerely, Tamara

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Offline smiragdus

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2008, 08:49:09 PM »
I don't want to force my children into anything they are not comfortable with, yet I want to lead them not only to chastity, but to a Holy union! :angel:

Offline Tamara

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2008, 09:29:18 PM »
I don't want to force my children into anything they are not comfortable with, yet I want to lead them not only to chastity, but to a Holy union! :angel:

You can give them advice and help them to know themselves as a child of God. You can encourage them to get to know other like-minded young people in your parish. But how much more involved to you want to be? Do you want choose the person they will marry? Would you have been okay with having your parents choose your spouse?

Offline Quinault

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2008, 09:52:39 PM »
At my last protestant church they "outlawed" dating. One had to "court" instead. So if you wanted to "court" a young lady you had to approach her thru her father. It worked for a select few, but in general I don't think it is the best idea.

My in-laws would never have chosen me for their son. I think to this DAY they wish that they could find someone else that they think is more suitable. They love their grandchildren, but they "tolerate" me.

If you are open to what you child wants, and you have a good working PARENTAL and yet friendly relationship, then I think it is beautiful to have the parents take a vital role in the courting/dating process. But you need to take into account both what they want, and what you think is best for them. There are issues that I don't think a parent should have an over riding vote on; hair length on men, personal style, musical tastes ect.

Anyone that wants to date our daughters HAS TO get to know us if they are underage, and we would hope that would be the case after they are grown too.

It woud beat eHarmony!

Wouldn't a priest do something if a couple was having sex outside of marriage and became pregnant? It seems like marriage is the best bet, but premarital sex is a symptom of a problem.

Our priest recently went over what the penatence was for the early church. The people in sack cloth and ashes crying outside the church, the ones in the narthex, the kneelers in the Nave and the standers. Man! They were HARDCORE then. If we had the same reprecussions now that they did then! Whoah!

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2008, 10:04:56 PM »
2. Summer Camp; and 

Bingo.  The financee (no, I didn't misspell that ;) lol) and I met many years ago there, and it was in co-counseling there one year that the spark came.
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Offline John of the North

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2008, 10:26:29 PM »
Well, I wouldn't mind Fr. setting something up if there was someone to set it up with haha....

I think if I was in a parents position the best approach probably wouldn't be "Here is a list of possibilities, dating someone NOT on this list is NOT an option"....but I think open dialogue is key. If they are dating that means they are mature teenagers, which means they should be able to sit down and discuss what they are looking for and if that matches what the parents hope for. That way everyone is on the same page, and no surprises...
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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2008, 10:46:26 PM »
I would have never married someone from my socio-ethnic background. So if they had tried to make me date inside my ethnicity and culture I would have flown the coop.
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Offline Rosehip

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2008, 10:53:38 PM »
I would have never married someone from my socio-ethnic background. So if they had tried to make me date inside my ethnicity and culture I would have flown the coop.

Why do you say this? I've been amongst both Greeks and Russians, and most of these people only want to marry their own...(which sort of disappoints me, but I try to understand, and realize it must be for the best...)
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Offline Anastasios

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2008, 11:02:22 PM »
Why do you say this? I've been amongst both Greeks and Russians, and most of these people only want to marry their own...(which sort of disappoints me, but I try to understand, and realize it must be for the best...)

I am of Germanic heritage from the Midwest, a Lutheran family. I don't like the cold and reserved nature of people from my heritage and so when we moved to Northern Virginia I was exposed to Hispanics and Indians and people from other cultures and after that I never looked back. The woman I ended up marrying is from Slovakia.

Many Greeks will marry outside their culture and in fact in times past, during the Hellenistic and Roman period, almost anyone could become a Roman (as Greeks identified themselves) by settling in the empire and perhaps marrying a Roman and learning to speak Greek.

I actually know more Greeks married to non Greeks than pureblooded Greeks. But I also know a lot of Greeks who only marry other Greeks too. That makes sense on some level because more often than not, marrying within one's ethnicity and culture is more likely to produce a good marriage; but for me, I am just adventurous I guess.

« Last Edit: April 14, 2008, 11:03:09 PM by Anastasios »
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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2008, 11:35:56 PM »
I don't want to force my children into anything they are not comfortable with, yet I want to lead them not only to chastity, but to a Holy union! :angel:
What if they want to become monastics? ;)
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Offline Myrrh23

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2008, 12:28:57 AM »
Quote
That makes sense on some level because more often than not, marrying within one's ethnicity and culture is more likely to produce a good marriage;

That's a high mountain to climb for us that are biracial.... :(
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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2008, 12:34:13 AM »
That's a high mountain to climb for us that are biracial.... :(

You have twice as many in your pool to pick from is another way to look at it ;)

I am quite happily married to someone from a different ethnicity although we are the same "race" (I don't believe in race but that is a different discussion).
« Last Edit: April 15, 2008, 12:34:54 AM by Anastasios »
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Offline arimethea

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2008, 12:59:53 AM »
Personally I have no problems asking the priest about a girl. For my situation I think that they are an excellent source to determining if they are a good match for me or not. Plus I think I have 90% of the priest wives in America now looking out for a wife for me.

My only problem I have with match making is I sometimes wonder what people think of me based on the people they try and set me up with.
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Offline RLNM

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2008, 08:40:13 AM »
My advice, which comes from my Mom's advice on parenting, is this. Let your children know what morals and values you hold most important. Let them know what qualities you see as most important in a friend and in a spouse. Then place it in God's hands. Granted there is a good bit of "our plans" in our dating. But if we let God, he will send the perfect match to us. I trusted God, and He sent me the perfect match. I have no doubt it was my husband (then boyfriend) who saved me from falling into a great deal of trouble. I was at a very dark point in my life, and without him I fully believe I would have ended up in the "wrong" crowd with all the attached problems. As it happens, I didn't go near that. And I must add, to this day, my husband is not Orthodox. And as each day passes, I realize even more how much our denomiantional differences are NOT a problem. Sometimes I worry (because I'm a worrier by nature, and can often create a problem just to worry over). But then, I get an opportunity to realize I was silly. This is my advice and personal insight.
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Offline Heorhij

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2008, 08:51:55 AM »
My children are very Orthodox!  I don't think that the regular dating methods are the best for all.  Some may not come away unscathed.  I know that I didn't.

Honestly, I cannot even imagine, conceive an "Orthodox child." I think Christianity is such an adult thing.
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Offline TinaG

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #30 on: April 15, 2008, 09:08:45 AM »
On the subject of matchmaking, I have a friend that was set up by a monk to a guy from a different city, and a very old world Orthodox guy at that.  They talked on the phone a few times, met for one long weekend and got engaged at the same time.  My friend was older and I'd say desperate to get married.  She moved to the big city after the wedding and I think it has not been an entirely happy situation.  I can't say if that's because of the way they met and married, or if there were just too many other factors. 

I actually worry about the idea of my kids marrying and staying within the faith.  I was raised Lutheran but jumped ship to become Orthodox.  Didn't make my mother happy.  Now that I'm Orthodox I believe I will have a very hard time accepting my children making the same choice one day, if it comes to that.  Many other Orthodox moms and I have joked about matchmaking for our kids to ensure they remain within the church.  I know that is not realistically going to happen, but loss of our future generations though marriage outside the church is a very serious issue. 
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #31 on: April 15, 2008, 10:12:20 AM »
People don't want their lives arranged, especially not by their parents. I feel the loving thing to do is to bring our children up with the best morals and ideals we can pass onto them; then let them go. I honestly believe it pays to take the example of the Prodigal's father and let them have the freedom to mess up. If they don't, that's a bonus. But if a pig sty is their destination, we just need to be there for them on whatever terms they allow us to be. We can't stop our children from living life, and that living might include them dating/marrying people we really wish they wouldn't. But afterall, isn't this why we had them in the first place; to give them life? And isn't that how God is with us all?
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Offline GiC

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #32 on: April 15, 2008, 10:18:40 AM »
Honestly, I cannot even imagine, conceive an "Orthodox child." I think Christianity is such an adult thing.

Well, I guess a 'Christian Child' isn't much different than a 'Democratic Child' or 'Republican Child'...insofar as these are social markers, the children are defined by their experiences and peer group (as Marx goes into in considerable detail in his Manifesto). If it is to ever become more than a social and cultural identity (and, very often, it does not) it is certainly something that will only occur much later in life.

Offline Anastasios

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #33 on: April 15, 2008, 10:23:57 AM »
Honestly, I cannot even imagine, conceive an "Orthodox child." I think Christianity is such an adult thing.

I'm so encouraged when I see people like one of our priests who has seven children that all are active Orthodox and seemingly unscathed by growing up as PKs (priest's kids). Very often that does not happen, so I am trying to learn from his example.

Also, our moderator Thomas has had success with raising children in the Church and his example inspires me.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2008, 10:24:43 AM by Anastasios »
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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #34 on: April 15, 2008, 11:20:03 AM »
Honestly, I cannot even imagine, conceive an "Orthodox child." I think Christianity is such an adult thing.

Except when one considers that our purity of Love and faith is to be like that of a Child's.  I know it may sound cliche, but in all honesty I wish I had the ability to love people despite their social status, relationship to me, etc.  There is much to be said about making our love and faith child-like (not child-ish).
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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #35 on: April 15, 2008, 11:47:30 AM »
Teenagers are strange creatures, to be sure. Yet the research shows that teens actually behave better (i.e., more like we want them to behave) when we give them more freedom, not less. Trying to exert control actually causes rebellion. If I tell a child, "You must do this," that child's immediate response is to do the opposite. I may think, "This child is rebellious; they need to be controlled"--and if I did so, I would be contributing to the problem.

I should instead consider what I am doing which could be causing the misbehavior.  What we perceive as rebellion many times is actually a desire for freedom, for self-control. Children, being in God's image, want to exert self-control. Initially they do not know how, and we must provide that control for them. We must feed and clothe them, read to them, transport them to various places. As they grow, however, they learn to do these things on their own. They learn to talk, then to read and write. They learn to walk, then drive. They learn to feed themselves, and then to buy their own food. The entire learning process is an exercise in increasing self-control.

Therefore, when I exert control over a child, I am saying with my actions, "You have not learned to have control over that area of your life." Yet if the child has learned to have control in that area, they will exert that self-control regardless of the adult's intentions. So to say, "You must only date this person" will only cause the child to date anyone who is unlike that person in as many ways as possible.

It is better to allow the child to choose. Provide guidance and counseling when the child asks for it, but do not give it unless they ask. If they're not in the mood to hear it, they won't listen anyway, and it could drive a wedge in your relationship. The child may choose to date some real losers, but most teenage relationships don't last long. Furthermore, the child will know your values, and if they sense that you respect them enough to let them make their own choice, chances are they will respect you enough to date someone you'd approve of anyway.

It's hard to see teenagers making poor choices, but in the long run it will help them more to allow them that freedom. God gives us free will; as parents we ought to do the same for our children, increasing the child's freedom as they grow and learn to use it. There's no greater joy than teaching a child what is right and seeing them choose it for themselves.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2008, 11:50:14 AM by ytterbiumanalyst »
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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #36 on: April 15, 2008, 12:17:53 PM »
Teenagers are strange creatures, to be sure. Yet the research shows that teens actually behave better (i.e., more like we want them to behave) when we give them more freedom, not less. Trying to exert control actually causes rebellion. If I tell a child, "You must do this," that child's immediate response is to do the opposite. I may think, "This child is rebellious; they need to be controlled"--and if I did so, I would be contributing to the problem.

I should instead consider what I am doing which could be causing the misbehavior.  What we perceive as rebellion many times is actually a desire for freedom, for self-control. Children, being in God's image, want to exert self-control. Initially they do not know how, and we must provide that control for them. We must feed and clothe them, read to them, transport them to various places. As they grow, however, they learn to do these things on their own. They learn to talk, then to read and write. They learn to walk, then drive. They learn to feed themselves, and then to buy their own food. The entire learning process is an exercise in increasing self-control.

Therefore, when I exert control over a child, I am saying with my actions, "You have not learned to have control over that area of your life." Yet if the child has learned to have control in that area, they will exert that self-control regardless of the adult's intentions. So to say, "You must only date this person" will only cause the child to date anyone who is unlike that person in as many ways as possible.

It is better to allow the child to choose. Provide guidance and counseling when the child asks for it, but do not give it unless they ask. If they're not in the mood to hear it, they won't listen anyway, and it could drive a wedge in your relationship. The child may choose to date some real losers, but most teenage relationships don't last long. Furthermore, the child will know your values, and if they sense that you respect them enough to let them make their own choice, chances are they will respect you enough to date someone you'd approve of anyway.

It's hard to see teenagers making poor choices, but in the long run it will help them more to allow them that freedom. God gives us free will; as parents we ought to do the same for our children, increasing the child's freedom as they grow and learn to use it. There's no greater joy than teaching a child what is right and seeing them choose it for themselves.

Bravo!  I feel like sending this to my sister-in-law who is in the process of alienating my niece (and goddaughter) by trying to control her dating life.  My niece has a very good head on her shoulders and is not, at least to my eye, making any bad choices.  But I always get the "You don't have any children so you can't understand" thing thrown back at me as her and my brother conveniently forget that I went through adolescence alot closer to my niece's time than they did and I still have friends (and fans) who aren't that much older than her.

I never did much dating myself until I was in college (and even then it wasn't alot) because I was a very shy and reserved kid.  My wife, by contrast, was a serial dater.  I'd like to think that when we do have children, we'd let them make their own choices and, as Mr. Y posts above, give advice when asked for.  One thing I have learned with dealing with my mother-in-law is that unsolicited advice is often perceived as criticism.  Much like how I made a conscious decision to not be as distant with my children as my father was with me, I'm going to try to keep my opinions to myself.
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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #37 on: April 15, 2008, 12:39:07 PM »
In theory one should have increasing freedom as they grow older. That is the model we are holding to. Input and control are different things. One would HOPE that your children desire your input on a potential spouse.

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #38 on: April 15, 2008, 07:27:19 PM »
Honestly, I cannot even imagine, conceive an "Orthodox child." I think Christianity is such an adult thing.

I know this is off-topic, but I'd like to hear more about this. Could another thread be started? It always nags away in the back of mind-if Christianity is such an adult thing, shouldn't we wait until our children are adults and can consciously dedicate their lives to Christ and request baptism?
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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #39 on: April 15, 2008, 07:28:40 PM »
I am of Germanic heritage from the Midwest, a Lutheran family. I don't like the cold and reserved nature of people from my heritage and so when we moved to Northern Virginia I was exposed to Hispanics and Indians and people from other cultures and after that I never looked back. The woman I ended up marrying is from Slovakia.

Many Greeks will marry outside their culture and in fact in times past, during the Hellenistic and Roman period, almost anyone could become a Roman (as Greeks identified themselves) by settling in the empire and perhaps marrying a Roman and learning to speak Greek.

I actually know more Greeks married to non Greeks than pureblooded Greeks. But I also know a lot of Greeks who only marry other Greeks too. That makes sense on some level because more often than not, marrying within one's ethnicity and culture is more likely to produce a good marriage; but for me, I am just adventurous I guess.



Interesting! Thanks for explaining, Anastasios. Judging by your name, I had assumed you were Greek.
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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #40 on: April 15, 2008, 07:38:09 PM »
Why does it seem that the most outwardly Orthodox people that are most concerned about the "evils" of the world seem to have the least faith in Divine Providence?  I met my fiancee entirely by chance in a sort of random way when I was most definitely not looking for any sort of relationship. 

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #41 on: April 15, 2008, 07:41:55 PM »
Bravo!  I feel like sending this to my sister-in-law who is in the process of alienating my niece (and goddaughter) by trying to control her dating life.  My niece has a very good head on her shoulders and is not, at least to my eye, making any bad choices.  But I always get the "You don't have any children so you can't understand" thing thrown back at me as her and my brother conveniently forget that I went through adolescence alot closer to my niece's time than they did and I still have friends (and fans) who aren't that much older than her.

I never did much dating myself until I was in college (and even then it wasn't alot) because I was a very shy and reserved kid.  My wife, by contrast, was a serial dater.  I'd like to think that when we do have children, we'd let them make their own choices and, as Mr. Y posts above, give advice when asked for.  One thing I have learned with dealing with my mother-in-law is that unsolicited advice is often perceived as criticism.  Much like how I made a conscious decision to not be as distant with my children as my father was with me, I'm going to try to keep my opinions to myself.

^^Well said, and I wholeheartedly agree! Genuine love requires freedom, not manipulation.
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #42 on: April 15, 2008, 07:44:24 PM »
In theory one should have increasing freedom as they grow older. That is the model we are holding to. Input and control are different things. One would HOPE that your children desire your input on a potential spouse.

I think that one might HOPE it, but still be prepared that their children will desire very little imput from them at all. :)
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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #43 on: April 15, 2008, 07:49:46 PM »
Why does it seem that the most outwardly Orthodox people that are most concerned about the "evils" of the world seem to have the least faith in Divine Providence? 

It's fear, Neckarios, plain and simple. I suppose it's understandable; we all want the best for our children and hate to see them suffer, but this kind of fear for others (and it doesn't just happen between parents and their children) so often manifests itself as domination and control freakism - and it's terribly damaging to relationships.
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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #44 on: April 15, 2008, 10:35:59 PM »
I know this is off-topic, but I'd like to hear more about this. Could another thread be started?

Go ahead and start one.  You've got the power!   8)
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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #45 on: April 16, 2008, 11:39:04 AM »
I know this is off-topic, but I'd like to hear more about this. Could another thread be started? It always nags away in the back of mind-if Christianity is such an adult thing, shouldn't we wait until our children are adults and can consciously dedicate their lives to Christ and request baptism?

No, I did not imply that we should wait until they are adults and then baptise them. Baptism is a Holy Mystery and I am copletely cool with infant baptism. But yes, I am absolutely confident that Christian summer camps etc. do not do much more for the growth of Christian faith in American and Western European and Australian chidren than Young Pioneer-Young Communist League summer camps did for the growth of Communist convictions in me. :) :) :)
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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #46 on: April 16, 2008, 12:36:11 PM »
No, I did not imply that we should wait until they are adults and then baptise them. Baptism is a Holy Mystery and I am copletely cool with infant baptism. But yes, I am absolutely confident that Christian summer camps etc. do not do much more for the growth of Christian faith in American and Western European and Australian chidren than Young Pioneer-Young Communist League summer camps did for the growth of Communist convictions in me. :) :) :)

What about Orthodox Christian summer camps?
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Offline calligraphqueen

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #47 on: May 03, 2008, 09:18:18 PM »
I entered Orthodoxy after being exposed to all the 'I kissed dating goodbye" via our hs group. I never read it, but in theory I can understand that today's casual dating practices are just divorce practice. Every time your average teen gets fed up with someones trifling behavior, they break things off and move on to the next person. Or they think that girl is better looking, so they dump the current one.  It's very shallow and physical only, so these young people only learn that dating is for what makes themselves feel good for the moment. Teens don't learn to work through communication problems, or minor frustrations by just ditching the current attraction for a different one. It's really quite silly if you think about it, and it's relatively short track record as the way to meet your future spouse isn't exactly stellar.  A lot more messes and hurt along the way than the previous methods with at least SOME parental oversight at first. There is NOTHING wrong with protecting our girls especially, because I know today's boys are taught that girls are for their personal enjoyment-and you can take that in many ways. I went to a private christian school and I am far from naive. Boys should be taught physical and emotional purity just as much as girls, it works both ways when standing before their creator!

Now, completely arranging a mate for my child seems just as absurd to my mind. As converts to the Faith, I know that you can find the one God intends in a lot of different places. I also know that even with the broader Christian community there are people that wear their faith when convenient and then remove it when they want to live it  up.  Those are the kinds of people I don't want hanging around my daughters. I don't happen to believe that my daughter's should be anyones 'flavor of the month!'  I teach my sons even now, at 10 and 12 and 7 that women aren't just created for their pleasure and usage, and that men were in fact created to provide for those that were weaker than them or in more need. That include the elderly, the young, the infirm, and their future wives. (I am not a doormat but today's feminism revolts me) Meaning that men weren't created simply to pursue their lusts and pleasures at the cost to everyone around them. God's descriptions of each gender's responsibilities and duties hasn't gone out the window because we are more enlightened and feminized as a society.

I think our kids need to be in Orthodox surroundings while they grow up, and if possible be taught to look in the Orthodox community when considering a mate. I just think it's hard enough being Orthodox when your spouse is as well, I can't imagine being divided on that issue when marriage is already hard enough. So why saddle yourself with a protestant that is at times diametrically opposed to your Faith in practice.  Since I have been a baptist much longer than an Orthodox believer I happen to know how opposed that former faith can be. 
Camps like Ionian village seem too far away and unreasonable, and we are only in a Greek parish-not Greek. So Greek dance and language isn't all as important as it is to some. Sending them to camps from other jurisdictions can be tricky at times, but if they are closer to ones home I suppose it could be just as helpful. Meeting people within your faith is important at any age, and of course it does increase the likelihood of meeting your spouse. It's not a given, but a better possibility.?

Offline A Sombra

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Re: Arranged teen dating by parents
« Reply #48 on: June 13, 2008, 06:09:48 AM »
I once belonged to a parish which had several Palestinian families as members. Our priest had an adopted son, who expressed a desire to date one of the Palestinian girls, who also went to his school. The priest conveyed this message to the girl's father. The father was pretty noncommittal when given this message by the priest, but that same day, after the trapeza, one of the Palestinian men (not the girl';s father) approached the would-be Romeo. He told this kid that, "If you go near that girl, we will put HEAVY PAIN on you!" That was all he said, and then he simply walked away.

I guess that could be one aspect of arranged teen dating, eh?