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Author Topic: If a young girl is in a "relationship" should you let her parents know?  (Read 4148 times) Average Rating: 0
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LizaSymonenko
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« on: August 16, 2012, 01:56:49 PM »


As many of you know, I teach religion to the kids at my parish.  As such, I try to instill in them a sense of morality appropriate to Orthodox Christians.

I have one girl, who just turned 13.  For years now she's been trying to be cool, and all she talks about is boys.  She had a Facebook account, which I her father made her shut down.  Not all Facebook accounts are bad....kids just need to be careful.

Her father is VERY proper....and he even tries to discourage her from listening to songs with nasty lyrics....which would be almost everything these days.

However, this girl talks boys non-stop.  In class, I would spend a good 10 minutes explaining that a 12 year old has no business talking about boyfriends and how cool they are, etc.  She shouldn't even have a boyfriend.  I tried to explain that the only reason for boyfriends is to ultimately marry this "man"....however, at 12 she's a bit young to be getting married, and popping out babies.  Yes, I said that.  I thought it might gross her out.  It didn't.  So, then I appealed to her greediness and materialism, and informed her that a 13 year old boy can hardly hold a job....and where are they going to live, he can't even drive her to the movies....etc.  Made no impact.  My main issue is that her "talking" might influence the other girls...and the boys in class are just loving it.  One girl came to me in tears because they were teasing her that she's 13 and never had a boyfriend.  I gave her a hug and told her that IF she had one, I would be most upset with her....and she was happy, hugged me and promised me she did not and would not for a while, yet.

When I mentioned this to the mother of the girl with the boyfriend, she giggled and said that when she was her age, boys used to chase her, too....and that by not pressuring the girl to "give up" boys, perhaps she'll be more open with her parents and not "hide" her boys from them.

At that point, I decided to give up trying to influence this girl and let her parents handle it on their own.

So, this same girl was in my VBS class last week.  She's now 13 and her big thing was that nowhere in the Bible did God say she's not allowed to have a boyfriend.  I replied that nowhere did He say she can have a boyfriend....and again...did the whole boyfriend/husband speech....onto deaf ears...because her rebuttal was that He never said she couldn't.

I didn't have a comeback...because I hope and pray she's not doing the "act"....and is just hanging out and maybe smooching with this boy....otherwise, I would read her the riot act.  However, I did ask her to stop with the boyfriend talk, or I would send her home....because I didn't want her corrupting the other girls present. ....yes, I said that, too.

So, today I happened upon one of the girl's Facebook pages, and noticed that this 13 year old had changed her username, but, was still on Facebook....as she used her own face....not a smiley or a puppy as other kids do.

Not only has she disobeyed her father by remaining on Facebook, according to her Wall, she is in a "relationship" with this boy.

This boy was her obsession at last year's VBS.  When I asked the kids to write down a prayer...something they really, really wanted....and to pray it every day.....some kids wished parents would have more money to pay bills, others prayed for sick friends, a couple prayed for video games, and she prayed that this exact boy fall in love with her....  So, it seems her prayers worked, because he's posting on her wall, how great she is, how cool she is, and what a good kisser she is.  (She's 13!!!!)

OK, I remember being 13....and yes, I remember getting all mooshy around boys....so, maybe I am over-reacting.  I just don't want to see our kids get in to trouble.

So, what should I do?  Do I tell her parents, especially her father, that she's in a "relationship".....or do I stay out of their lives...as it's really none of my business....other than I care for all of them....and only wish them them the best. 

I love the whole family, including this girl, and don't want to come off as a tattletale, who is just sticking my nose in their business.

I was going to let sleeping dogs lie, but, then thought if this were my kid, and she was doing something I disapproved of, I would want to know, so I could guide her.  No?   ....but, maybe the parents are aware....and have no issues with her behavior.

What should I do?

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« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2012, 02:12:15 PM »

Thirteen... Ugh. What a terrible age. Such a cocktail of hormones and emotions. I wouldn't do it again for anything.

I had to really think back to being thirteen, and that's when I had my first "boyfriend". He was a boy who went to the same school (Christian school) I did... I kept him secret from my parents. We wrote each other love letters, but by the time we started high school he found a different girl and broke my heart. Wink We never kissed or anything... He actually ended up marrying one of my best friends and is still a good friend today.

I don't know why I feel the need to share that story... She sounds more boy-crazy than I was then. I don't know what you should do. Can you bring it up casually in conversation with her parents so it doesn't seem like tattling- especially since you're not sure if they know? Like, "Susie is growing up so fast! It seems like yesterday she was such a little girl and now she has a boyfriend! How are you handling it?" I don't know...
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« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2012, 02:42:51 PM »

Talk with the pastor.
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« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2012, 02:56:49 PM »

You can take some consolation in the fact that the average age that a person has intercourse for the first time is 17, and just one in four people have sex prior to the age of 15.  The fact that (I believe, based on your post) she is living with both her parents, makes it even less likely that she has or will in the near future have sex.  That she is white also makes it less likely.  As well, I assume her boyfriend is about her age; the younger a teen girl is when she loses her virginity, the more likely that her partner was older (for instance, eleven percent of teen girls who first had sex at 15 did so with a man over the age of twenty).  For Catholics (and, I'd guess that the Orthodox are probably similar), the average age for first intercourse is about 18.  As well, over the last twenty years, the number of never-married persons ages 15 to 19, who have had sex has actually decreased by a noticeable percentage. 

Almost certainly, this is just a harmless part of growing up - like the relationships most 13 year-olds are in.  Within a month, she'll have moved on to the next guy (either because he dumps her or she gets bored with him).  I wouldn't worry about it.
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2012, 03:02:22 PM »

Just let it go. Why do you older Orthodox folks have to be so weird? I think that socializing with the opposite gender at that age may be good for kids in the long run because it teaches them how to act and understand the opposite gender better. When I was that age my mother actually encouraged me to try talking to girls more, but I was still too afraid and hormonial, so I didn't. And look what happened; three years later when I am 16 and I can still hardly hold a conversation with the opposite gender.
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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2012, 03:20:32 PM »


I'm not weird...I'm worried.

There's nothing wrong with having male friends....but, when you state he's your boyfriend and you are proud of it...acting all grown up, as if you are better than the other girls your age....then it might be a problem.





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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2012, 03:48:57 PM »

It's good you are there to watch over these kids.  Smiley 

At this age, a "relationship" might just mean eating lunch together and texting.  But, you never know.  A friend I had in high school was having sex at 13.  Her case was sad, her mother was pregnant at 16, she never knew a father, she seemed to have a void to fill so went from guy to guy to guy.   A teacher at our high school was also targeting teen girls and unfortunately she was one of them.  He seemed to pick girls that didn't have strong families and were sort of lost.  And, guys that just want to use a girl for physical gratification seem to know who to pick.  The path of least resistance means finding girls that don't have strong fathers or brothers to deal with.

Maybe ask her about what she values in herself, find out how she will view herself if she had no boyfriend in her life, would she still have any interests, would she feel complete and loved?   What sort of guy does she feel she should be with, what is she interested in?  It seems like she has enough controls at home, so this might be the time just to listen.

For the other girls, this could be setting up a mindset that they are not valuable or visible or interesting or socially acceptable without a boyfriend.  It would be nice to get them focused on developing skills to deal with peer pressure of any type.  Something that teaches resiliency.  Maybe a project to present to other kids about how to deal with peer pressure and taunting, etc., and highlights strong, young Orthodox women as role models.

Again, it is good you are there for these kids! They will remember you when they are adults and navigating through the trials and tribulations of adulthood.
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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2012, 03:59:51 PM »

Just let it go. Why do you older Orthodox folks have to be so weird? I think that socializing with the opposite gender at that age may be good for kids in the long run because it teaches them how to act and understand the opposite gender better. When I was that age my mother actually encouraged me to try talking to girls more, but I was still too afraid and hormonial, so I didn't. And look what happened; three years later when I am 16 and I can still hardly hold a conversation with the opposite gender.
The juvenile lack of wisdom you show here is insulting to mature adults - and quite indicative of the problem at hand.

Socialization is one thing. Sneaking around behind her parents' back is another. The fact that she does just exactly that shows that even she knows it's not right. At the very least, it is outright disobedience of her parents.

Liza, since you are a woman, it's probably best to speak with the girl's mother. You might mention that the subject of a Facebook page has come up, and you could ask the mother how she monitors that.

My granddaughter will soon be 12. My daughter (her mother) recently became aware of granddaughter's friend doing more or less what you described. I've told you the gist of how she handled it (without further incident, BTW).
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« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2012, 04:04:06 PM »

I have a 13 year old daughter.

This poor girl is getting this from somewhere.  I don't know if it is public school or society in general.

My daughter has no interest in boys.  Marriage is for "someday later", and for right now she's interested in her animals and helping her mother.  She's also interested in a lot of crafts.

I don't think it will help you to tell her parents directly of what she's doing.  It may help to tell them they should watch what is influencing her.  Which of course, would come off as rude. 

It may just be best to let this one go.   If there has been that much influence in her life where at 13 boys is the only thing on her mind, I don't know how you can change it.

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« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2012, 04:16:41 PM »

Just let it go. Why do you older Orthodox folks have to be so weird? I think that socializing with the opposite gender at that age may be good for kids in the long run because it teaches them how to act and understand the opposite gender better. When I was that age my mother actually encouraged me to try talking to girls more, but I was still too afraid and hormonial, so I didn't. And look what happened; three years later when I am 16 and I can still hardly hold a conversation with the opposite gender.
The juvenile lack of wisdom you show here is insulting to mature adults - and quite indicative of the problem at hand.

Socialization is one thing. Sneaking around behind her parents' back is another. The fact that she does just exactly that shows that even she knows it's not right. At the very least, it is outright disobedience of her parents.

Liza, since you are a woman, it's probably best to speak with the girl's mother. You might mention that the subject of a Facebook page has come up, and you could ask the mother how she monitors that.

My granddaughter will soon be 12. My daughter (her mother) recently became aware of granddaughter's friend doing more or less what you described. I've told you the gist of how she handled it (without further incident, BTW).

Agreed. Adolescents do need supervision not because they are bad but because they have difficulty with (a) making rational decisions and (b) controlling their emotions/hormones.
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« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2012, 04:27:05 PM »

The juvenile lack of wisdom you show here is insulting to mature adults - and quite indicative of the problem at hand.

I would actually say that the elderly lack of wisdom here coming from adults who have long forgotten what it is like to be a child is insulting to all of the juveniles. She's only 13; she'll be fine. Maybe if parents raised their children better in the first place then they would not need to worry about what their children do around/with the opposite gender. Instead of coming to the 21st century, Orthodox parents just fantasize over going back to some weird old timey arranged marriage thing from the old country. Well society has changed and for the sake of their children they are better off adapting instead of dreaming of going back to olden times.

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...the fact that she does just exactly that shows that even she knows it's not right. At the very least, it is outright disobedience of her parents.

No; it shows that she knows her parents will be upset with her if they found out; not necessarily that it is wrong. Parents are usually wrong half the time and may later regret certain decisions they made during parenting. Most kids begin to realize their parents' imperfection around 13 anyway. They don't obey their parents because they believe that their parents are truly 'right' or 'correct', but because they don't want to get in trouble. And while keeping secrets from parents can potentially be dangerous, it is very common and healthy. Everyone does it; even adults to their parents. It is a sign of maturity and independence. It's not like she's doing drugs or something. She just has a boyfriend. It's no big deal. In a week she'll probably dump him and move on anyway.
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« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2012, 04:30:22 PM »

Talking about boys will happen, but it sounds a little out of hand.  You already spoke with mom who brushed it off.  Maybe its time dad got involved, especially now you know she still has FB.  Don't talk to him alone though, have another male involved.  You can always take away permission for such gossip in church in your class.  Make it a rule.  They are there to learn something not involving boy girl puppy love.  If it were my daughter, I would be mad if you didn't tell me.
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« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2012, 04:32:43 PM »

The juvenile lack of wisdom you show here is insulting to mature adults - and quite indicative of the problem at hand.

I would actually say that the elderly lack of wisdom here coming from adults who have long forgotten what it is like to be a child is insulting to all of the juveniles. She's only 13; she'll be fine. Maybe if parents raised their children better in the first place then they would not need to worry about what their children do around/with the opposite gender. Instead of coming to the 21st century, Orthodox parents just fantasize over going back to some weird old timey arranged marriage thing from the old country. Well society has changed and for the sake of their children they are better off adapting instead of dreaming of going back to olden times.

Quote
...the fact that she does just exactly that shows that even she knows it's not right. At the very least, it is outright disobedience of her parents.

No; it shows that she knows her parents will be upset with her if they found out; not necessarily that it is wrong. Parents are usually wrong half the time and may later regret certain decisions they made during parenting. Most kids begin to realize their parents' imperfection around 13 anyway. They don't obey their parents because they believe that their parents are truly 'right' or 'correct', but because they don't want to get in trouble. And while keeping secrets from parents can potentially be dangerous, it is very common and healthy. Everyone does it; even adults to their parents. It is a sign of maturity and independence. It's not like she's doing drugs or something. She just has a boyfriend. It's no big deal. In a week she'll probably dump him and move on anyway.
I am sorry James, but I disagree with you on pretty much everything you are saying.
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« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2012, 04:37:13 PM »

Just let it go. Why do you older Orthodox folks have to be so weird? I think that socializing with the opposite gender at that age may be good for kids in the long run because it teaches them how to act and understand the opposite gender better. When I was that age my mother actually encouraged me to try talking to girls more, but I was still too afraid and hormonial, so I didn't. And look what happened; three years later when I am 16 and I can still hardly hold a conversation with the opposite gender.
The juvenile lack of wisdom you show here is insulting to mature adults - and quite indicative of the problem at hand.

Socialization is one thing. Sneaking around behind her parents' back is another. The fact that she does just exactly that shows that even she knows it's not right. At the very least, it is outright disobedience of her parents.

Liza, since you are a woman, it's probably best to speak with the girl's mother. You might mention that the subject of a Facebook page has come up, and you could ask the mother how she monitors that.

My granddaughter will soon be 12. My daughter (her mother) recently became aware of granddaughter's friend doing more or less what you described. I've told you the gist of how she handled it (without further incident, BTW).

Agreed. Adolescents do need supervision not because they are bad but because they have difficulty with (a) making rational decisions and (b) controlling their emotions/hormones.

Exactly.  Age and experience with proper guidance is one of lifestyle best teachers. 

If she is hiding FB, what else will she hide or is hiding?
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« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2012, 04:41:22 PM »

I can only speak for myself, but if I was a parent in this situation I would want to be told.
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« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2012, 04:54:40 PM »

Just let it go. Why do you older Orthodox folks have to be so weird?
Being a mature, responsible adult will do that.  You'll see one day.  Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2012, 04:59:22 PM »

Hohoho! Look at James R!
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« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2012, 05:23:54 PM »

Maybe because you are not 16 but 40 and actually know something.

The juvenile lack of wisdom you show here is insulting to mature adults - and quite indicative of the problem at hand.

I would actually say that the elderly lack of wisdom here coming from adults who have long forgotten what it is like to be a child is insulting to all of the juveniles. She's only 13; she'll be fine. Maybe if parents raised their children better in the first place then they would not need to worry about what their children do around/with the opposite gender. Instead of coming to the 21st century, Orthodox parents just fantasize over going back to some weird old timey arranged marriage thing from the old country. Well society has changed and for the sake of their children they are better off adapting instead of dreaming of going back to olden times.

Quote
...the fact that she does just exactly that shows that even she knows it's not right. At the very least, it is outright disobedience of her parents.

No; it shows that she knows her parents will be upset with her if they found out; not necessarily that it is wrong. Parents are usually wrong half the time and may later regret certain decisions they made during parenting. Most kids begin to realize their parents' imperfection around 13 anyway. They don't obey their parents because they believe that their parents are truly 'right' or 'correct', but because they don't want to get in trouble. And while keeping secrets from parents can potentially be dangerous, it is very common and healthy. Everyone does it; even adults to their parents. It is a sign of maturity and independence. It's not like she's doing drugs or something. She just has a boyfriend. It's no big deal. In a week she'll probably dump him and move on anyway.
I am sorry James, but I disagree with you on pretty much everything you are saying.
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« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2012, 05:34:32 PM »


What should I do?


No more than you have.  Unless she is living with you, she is really not your problem beyond normal Christian duty.  You have already done that.  I knew a girl once who's family was very draconian about these matters.  She eventually rebelled and ran off.  Seeing what he life was like after this, he father had a nervous breakdown.  She is probably getting a lot of this in school.  After working with 6-8th graders in band, I had to go home and ask my kids what a "rainbow party" was.  I have to say that I was somewhat taken aback that this behaviour happened at such an early age!  I also have to admit that 8th grade girls did not look like they do now when I was in 8th grade!  In any case, it is a different type of kid than when we were that age.  I am not convinced that doing any more on your part will result in success.  At this point, your prayers are of more help than any further "tattling".

BTW - I consider myself "in a relationship" with anyone not actively trying to kill me  Wink
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« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2012, 06:11:22 PM »


Great advice!  Thanks everyone!!!!

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« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2012, 06:38:35 PM »

After working with 6-8th graders in band, I had to go home and ask my kids what a "rainbow party" was.  I have to say that I was somewhat taken aback that this behaviour happened at such an early age! 

I'm pretty sure that legend is old enough that I may have heard about it in high school.

Right up there with the yellow five in Mountain Dew shrinking your testicles.
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« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2012, 07:13:23 PM »

Just let it go. Why do you older Orthodox folks have to be so weird? I think that socializing with the opposite gender at that age may be good for kids in the long run because it teaches them how to act and understand the opposite gender better. When I was that age my mother actually encouraged me to try talking to girls more, but I was still too afraid and hormonial, so I didn't. And look what happened; three years later when I am 16 and I can still hardly hold a conversation with the opposite gender.
The juvenile lack of wisdom you show here is insulting to mature adults - and quite indicative of the problem at hand.

Socialization is one thing. Sneaking around behind her parents' back is another. The fact that she does just exactly that shows that even she knows it's not right. At the very least, it is outright disobedience of her parents.

Liza, since you are a woman, it's probably best to speak with the girl's mother. You might mention that the subject of a Facebook page has come up, and you could ask the mother how she monitors that.

My granddaughter will soon be 12. My daughter (her mother) recently became aware of granddaughter's friend doing more or less what you described. I've told you the gist of how she handled it (without further incident, BTW).

completely agree... especially the bolded part.

I have a 13 year old daughter.

This poor girl is getting this from somewhere.  I don't know if it is public school or society in general.

My daughter has no interest in boys.  Marriage is for "someday later", and for right now she's interested in her animals and helping her mother.  She's also interested in a lot of crafts.

I don't think it will help you to tell her parents directly of what she's doing.  It may help to tell them they should watch what is influencing her.  Which of course, would come off as rude. 

It may just be best to let this one go.   If there has been that much influence in her life where at 13 boys is the only thing on her mind, I don't know how you can change it.


I think it depends on the child.  I have 6 kids and all of them are different.  My oldest daughter could care less about boys when she was a young teen.  She definitely walked to the beat of her own drum... in fact, she would regularly go to the Baptist youth group where following the crowd was the norm... and she'd go in her RenFaire regalia.   Needless to say she didn't have a huge amount of friends, but she didn't care.  She liked Ren Fair stuff and "dressing up" and phooey on those who thought it was uncool.  She really didn't show a lot of interest in boys until about 17 or 18.  It was wonderful. 

My middle child is totally the opposite - from day one.  She worried/worries A LOT about what other's think.  She was boy crazy by the time she was 11-12 or so (probably younger). And we were still homeschooling at that point so it wasn't the school's influence  Grin  We had many fights over appropriate dress because she thought no one would like her if she didn't dress like her friends.  Now she's in college, but it still grates on me - just can't say as much anymore.  I was very relieved that she didn't have any boyfriends in high school.

Liza - I agree about speaking the your priest...and also the mom.  Perhaps her parents already know she has another FB account?  It might be nice if they knew someone else was watching out for her and understood the struggle they're going through.  I know I could have used a hug or two on a Sunday morning when I knew my dd came to church dressed a bit too showy (shall we say).   It's obvious they care about her and know she needs a little extra supervision.  Perhaps knowing that someone is coming along side and praying with/for them instead of judging them would bring some comfort.

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« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2012, 08:48:44 PM »

The juvenile lack of wisdom you show here is insulting to mature adults - and quite indicative of the problem at hand.

I would actually say that the elderly lack of wisdom here coming from adults who have long forgotten what it is like to be a child is insulting to all of the juveniles. She's only 13; she'll be fine. Maybe if parents raised their children better in the first place then they would not need to worry about what their children do around/with the opposite gender. Instead of coming to the 21st century, Orthodox parents just fantasize over going back to some weird old timey arranged marriage thing from the old country. Well society has changed and for the sake of their children they are better off adapting instead of dreaming of going back to olden times.

Quote
...the fact that she does just exactly that shows that even she knows it's not right. At the very least, it is outright disobedience of her parents.

No; it shows that she knows her parents will be upset with her if they found out; not necessarily that it is wrong. Parents are usually wrong half the time and may later regret certain decisions they made during parenting. Most kids begin to realize their parents' imperfection around 13 anyway. They don't obey their parents because they believe that their parents are truly 'right' or 'correct', but because they don't want to get in trouble. And while keeping secrets from parents can potentially be dangerous, it is very common and healthy. Everyone does it; even adults to their parents. It is a sign of maturity and independence. It's not like she's doing drugs or something. She just has a boyfriend. It's no big deal. In a week she'll probably dump him and move on anyway.
I am sorry James, but I disagree with you on pretty much everything you are saying.

This is the typical reaction.
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« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2012, 12:30:00 AM »

Hohoho! Look at James R!

I couldn't tell you why, but this made me LOL.
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« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2012, 01:08:15 AM »

After working with 6-8th graders in band, I had to go home and ask my kids what a "rainbow party" was.  I have to say that I was somewhat taken aback that this behaviour happened at such an early age! 

I'm pretty sure that legend is old enough that I may have heard about it in high school.

Right up there with the yellow five in Mountain Dew shrinking your testicles.

Yeah, I believe that the infamous 'rainbow party' was invented by Oprah to create sensationalism and drive ratings.  After doing extensive research on many...um...'scholarly' sites on the internet I have yet to see any proof that this is phenomenon actually exists outside of the mainstream media.  Much like 'job creation'.
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« Reply #25 on: August 17, 2012, 01:24:22 AM »

Just let it go. Why do you older Orthodox folks have to be so weird? I think that socializing with the opposite gender at that age may be good for kids in the long run because it teaches them how to act and understand the opposite gender better. When I was that age my mother actually encouraged me to try talking to girls more, but I was still too afraid and hormonial, so I didn't. And look what happened; three years later when I am 16 and I can still hardly hold a conversation with the opposite gender.

You obviously have no idea what it means to be a parent.  Your ignorance of life shows itself once again.  You're 16; what do you possibly know? When you become a parent (i hope that day never comes), let's see how quickly you change your tune.

What's more, you have said numerous times about how your parents were abusive and bad, but since your mom encouraged you to talk to girls, we should look to her as an example of good parenting?

Liza is not weird, nor are any of us older Orthodox Christians.  Liza is a teacher at a Sunday school entrusted with spiritual and moral edification of these youngsters.  I'm a teacher at a private school and  I know that if I fail to report anything that even looks abusive to the appropriate authorities and to the parents, I not only could lose my job, but kiss any chance of teaching again good-bye.
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« Reply #26 on: August 17, 2012, 03:22:38 AM »

Just let it go. Why do you older Orthodox folks have to be so weird? I think that socializing with the opposite gender at that age may be good for kids in the long run because it teaches them how to act and understand the opposite gender better. When I was that age my mother actually encouraged me to try talking to girls more, but I was still too afraid and hormonial, so I didn't. And look what happened; three years later when I am 16 and I can still hardly hold a conversation with the opposite gender.

You obviously have no idea what it means to be a parent.  Your ignorance of life shows itself once again.  You're 16; what do you possibly know? When you become a parent (i hope that day never comes), let's see how quickly you change your tune.

What's more, you have said numerous times about how your parents were abusive and bad, but since your mom encouraged you to talk to girls, we should look to her as an example of good parenting?

Liza is not weird, nor are any of us older Orthodox Christians.  Liza is a teacher at a Sunday school entrusted with spiritual and moral edification of these youngsters.  I'm a teacher at a private school and  I know that if I fail to report anything that even looks abusive to the appropriate authorities and to the parents, I not only could lose my job, but kiss any chance of teaching again good-bye.

And what exactly does that have to do with the OP?
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« Reply #27 on: August 17, 2012, 03:34:38 AM »

Just let it go. Why do you older Orthodox folks have to be so weird? I think that socializing with the opposite gender at that age may be good for kids in the long run because it teaches them how to act and understand the opposite gender better. When I was that age my mother actually encouraged me to try talking to girls more, but I was still too afraid and hormonial, so I didn't. And look what happened; three years later when I am 16 and I can still hardly hold a conversation with the opposite gender.

You obviously have no idea what it means to be a parent.  Your ignorance of life shows itself once again.  You're 16; what do you possibly know? When you become a parent (i hope that day never comes), let's see how quickly you change your tune.

What's more, you have said numerous times about how your parents were abusive and bad, but since your mom encouraged you to talk to girls, we should look to her as an example of good parenting?

Liza is not weird, nor are any of us older Orthodox Christians.  Liza is a teacher at a Sunday school entrusted with spiritual and moral edification of these youngsters.  I'm a teacher at a private school and  I know that if I fail to report anything that even looks abusive to the appropriate authorities and to the parents, I not only could lose my job, but kiss any chance of teaching again good-bye.

And what exactly does that have to do with the OP?
Everything, since the subject of discussion is how little wisdom teenagers have and how their parents and teachers have a responsibility to watch over them. The thing teenagers need to remember is that they're not adults yet.
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« Reply #28 on: August 17, 2012, 07:52:55 AM »

Just let it go. Why do you older Orthodox folks have to be so weird? I think that socializing with the opposite gender at that age may be good for kids in the long run because it teaches them how to act and understand the opposite gender better. When I was that age my mother actually encouraged me to try talking to girls more, but I was still too afraid and hormonial, so I didn't. And look what happened; three years later when I am 16 and I can still hardly hold a conversation with the opposite gender.

You obviously have no idea what it means to be a parent.  Your ignorance of life shows itself once again.  You're 16; what do you possibly know? When you become a parent (i hope that day never comes), let's see how quickly you change your tune.

What's more, you have said numerous times about how your parents were abusive and bad, but since your mom encouraged you to talk to girls, we should look to her as an example of good parenting?

Liza is not weird, nor are any of us older Orthodox Christians.  Liza is a teacher at a Sunday school entrusted with spiritual and moral edification of these youngsters.  I'm a teacher at a private school and  I know that if I fail to report anything that even looks abusive to the appropriate authorities and to the parents, I not only could lose my job, but kiss any chance of teaching again good-bye.

And what exactly does that have to do with the OP?
Everything, since the subject of discussion is how little wisdom teenagers have and how their parents and teachers have a responsibility to watch over them. The thing teenagers need to remember is that they're not adults yet.

The requirement to report pertains to abuse not teenage romance.
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« Reply #29 on: August 17, 2012, 09:02:33 AM »

Just let it go. Why do you older Orthodox folks have to be so weird? I think that socializing with the opposite gender at that age may be good for kids in the long run because it teaches them how to act and understand the opposite gender better. When I was that age my mother actually encouraged me to try talking to girls more, but I was still too afraid and hormonial, so I didn't. And look what happened; three years later when I am 16 and I can still hardly hold a conversation with the opposite gender.

You obviously have no idea what it means to be a parent.  Your ignorance of life shows itself once again.  You're 16; what do you possibly know? When you become a parent (i hope that day never comes), let's see how quickly you change your tune.

What's more, you have said numerous times about how your parents were abusive and bad, but since your mom encouraged you to talk to girls, we should look to her as an example of good parenting?

Liza is not weird, nor are any of us older Orthodox Christians.  Liza is a teacher at a Sunday school entrusted with spiritual and moral edification of these youngsters.  I'm a teacher at a private school and  I know that if I fail to report anything that even looks abusive to the appropriate authorities and to the parents, I not only could lose my job, but kiss any chance of teaching again good-bye.

And what exactly does that have to do with the OP?
Everything, since the subject of discussion is how little wisdom teenagers have and how their parents and teachers have a responsibility to watch over them. The thing teenagers need to remember is that they're not adults yet.

The requirement to report pertains to abuse not teenage romance.
It's more inline with child safety, not just abuse.  If a teacher knows a teen is planning on doing something dangerous, without parental knowledge, they still have a responsibility to report it.  Let's not attempt to muddy the waters in a pointless path of legal definition since each jurisdiction is different.

Kids are, for lack of a better term, dumb.  It's the duty of adults to safeguard them until they are able to do it themselves, even if they don't want that protection.  More often than not, they do things on their own which cause them harm, mostly due to inexperience and stubbornness.  One of what I see as a major problem today is apathy.  No one wants to get involved, and that is simply pathetic. 

Good on her for actually caring.  It's refreshing and how we all should be.
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« Reply #30 on: August 17, 2012, 09:30:16 AM »

At least mention to the parents the facebook account. They might get annoyed at you, but then you can feel at ease that they have been made aware. Or, not say anything, and if worse happens, regret your inaction.

Keep encouraging the sharing but maybe steer to more private time. That's wonderful she trusts sharing with you.

Lord, have mercy.
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« Reply #31 on: August 17, 2012, 11:26:15 AM »

Those young people are blessed to have you in their lives.

Some ideas that we have done in our church:

- We discussed with the priest.  He always had great insight, and he started having some educational sessions for the parents, as well as discuss the issues generally in his sermons. 
- We did a book study on, "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" for the kids her age.  Yes, it is Protestant, but it is an easy read, presents strong arguments, and one of the greatest things about it (for us) was that it was written by a young "American", not an old Egyptian parent "that has no idea what it means to be Canadian and young," etc, etc.
- We created a youth lounge: a place for our youth to hang out every Friday.  All of us teachers hung out with them, played games, brought food.  Created a safe, Christian environment where we could befriend them more: this meant we could hear and try to help them resolve many of their issues.  It was like creating positive peer pressure.  In addition to this, we divided up our youth for constant outreach.  We would text them, call them to see how they are doing, get together for coffee, pray for them... it was a massive effort, but with God's grace, fruit came of this labour.  Some of these guys that were making out and even having sex at that age are now successful adults that are teaching the church's children.

God bless you and those you serve.

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« Reply #32 on: August 17, 2012, 11:35:29 AM »

Just let it go. Why do you older Orthodox folks have to be so weird? I think that socializing with the opposite gender at that age may be good for kids in the long run because it teaches them how to act and understand the opposite gender better. When I was that age my mother actually encouraged me to try talking to girls more, but I was still too afraid and hormonial, so I didn't. And look what happened; three years later when I am 16 and I can still hardly hold a conversation with the opposite gender.

You obviously have no idea what it means to be a parent.  Your ignorance of life shows itself once again.  You're 16; what do you possibly know? When you become a parent (i hope that day never comes), let's see how quickly you change your tune.

What's more, you have said numerous times about how your parents were abusive and bad, but since your mom encouraged you to talk to girls, we should look to her as an example of good parenting?

Liza is not weird, nor are any of us older Orthodox Christians.  Liza is a teacher at a Sunday school entrusted with spiritual and moral edification of these youngsters.  I'm a teacher at a private school and  I know that if I fail to report anything that even looks abusive to the appropriate authorities and to the parents, I not only could lose my job, but kiss any chance of teaching again good-bye.

And what exactly does that have to do with the OP?
Everything, since the subject of discussion is how little wisdom teenagers have and how their parents and teachers have a responsibility to watch over them. The thing teenagers need to remember is that they're not adults yet.

The requirement to report pertains to abuse not teenage romance.

As I said, I work in a private school, a small private school which has children from many wealthy families who not only are generous benefactors but very involved in their children's education.  One of the things I'm responsible for is to ensure that these students receive a good education and to be on the front lines to counter anything that may be detrimental.  Yes, I'm required to report abuse, but I'm also required, not by law, but by the code of the school, to be on the lookout for anything that would put their education at risk.  THat is NOT to say that I inquire of my students about their romantic interests, but if I see something that could be deemed inappropriate, especially on school grounds, I am honor bound to act. 

This has a lot of gray area and subject to my individual judgment so please don't waste my time or yours by giving a whole bunch of hypothetical situations of whether that would be something I'd report or not.

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« Reply #33 on: August 17, 2012, 12:53:19 PM »

Just let it go. Why do you older Orthodox folks have to be so weird? I think that socializing with the opposite gender at that age may be good for kids in the long run because it teaches them how to act and understand the opposite gender better. When I was that age my mother actually encouraged me to try talking to girls more, but I was still too afraid and hormonial, so I didn't. And look what happened; three years later when I am 16 and I can still hardly hold a conversation with the opposite gender.

You obviously have no idea what it means to be a parent.  Your ignorance of life shows itself once again.  You're 16; what do you possibly know? When you become a parent (i hope that day never comes), let's see how quickly you change your tune.

What's more, you have said numerous times about how your parents were abusive and bad, but since your mom encouraged you to talk to girls, we should look to her as an example of good parenting?

Liza is not weird, nor are any of us older Orthodox Christians.  Liza is a teacher at a Sunday school entrusted with spiritual and moral edification of these youngsters.  I'm a teacher at a private school and  I know that if I fail to report anything that even looks abusive to the appropriate authorities and to the parents, I not only could lose my job, but kiss any chance of teaching again good-bye.

And what exactly does that have to do with the OP?
Everything, since the subject of discussion is how little wisdom teenagers have and how their parents and teachers have a responsibility to watch over them. The thing teenagers need to remember is that they're not adults yet.

The requirement to report pertains to abuse not teenage romance.
It's more inline with child safety, not just abuse.  If a teacher knows a teen is planning on doing something dangerous, without parental knowledge, they still have a responsibility to report it.  Let's not attempt to muddy the waters in a pointless path of legal definition since each jurisdiction is different.

Kids are, for lack of a better term, dumb.  It's the duty of adults to safeguard them until they are able to do it themselves, even if they don't want that protection.  More often than not, they do things on their own which cause them harm, mostly due to inexperience and stubbornness.  One of what I see as a major problem today is apathy.  No one wants to get involved, and that is simply pathetic. 

Good on her for actually caring.  It's refreshing and how we all should be.

But who safeguards the dumb adults that are charged with safeguarding the youth?
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« Reply #34 on: August 17, 2012, 12:53:19 PM »

Just let it go. Why do you older Orthodox folks have to be so weird? I think that socializing with the opposite gender at that age may be good for kids in the long run because it teaches them how to act and understand the opposite gender better. When I was that age my mother actually encouraged me to try talking to girls more, but I was still too afraid and hormonial, so I didn't. And look what happened; three years later when I am 16 and I can still hardly hold a conversation with the opposite gender.

You obviously have no idea what it means to be a parent.  Your ignorance of life shows itself once again.  You're 16; what do you possibly know? When you become a parent (i hope that day never comes), let's see how quickly you change your tune.

What's more, you have said numerous times about how your parents were abusive and bad, but since your mom encouraged you to talk to girls, we should look to her as an example of good parenting?

Liza is not weird, nor are any of us older Orthodox Christians.  Liza is a teacher at a Sunday school entrusted with spiritual and moral edification of these youngsters.  I'm a teacher at a private school and  I know that if I fail to report anything that even looks abusive to the appropriate authorities and to the parents, I not only could lose my job, but kiss any chance of teaching again good-bye.

And what exactly does that have to do with the OP?
Everything, since the subject of discussion is how little wisdom teenagers have and how their parents and teachers have a responsibility to watch over them. The thing teenagers need to remember is that they're not adults yet.

The requirement to report pertains to abuse not teenage romance.

As I said, I work in a private school, a small private school which has children from many wealthy families who not only are generous benefactors but very involved in their children's education.  One of the things I'm responsible for is to ensure that these students receive a good education and to be on the front lines to counter anything that may be detrimental.  Yes, I'm required to report abuse, but I'm also required, not by law, but by the code of the school, to be on the lookout for anything that would put their education at risk.  THat is NOT to say that I inquire of my students about their romantic interests, but if I see something that could be deemed inappropriate, especially on school grounds, I am honor bound to act. 

This has a lot of gray area and subject to my individual judgment so please don't waste my time or yours by giving a whole bunch of hypothetical situations of whether that would be something I'd report or not.



I had just been a tad confused as to why you seemed to be equating the situation in the OP with reporting abuse (on a side note, I do find it a tad odd that you're required to report abuse to the parents; the police make sense, but the parents might be a bad idea because it is quite possible that they are the abusers); now that you've expanded, it makes more sense.
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« Reply #35 on: August 17, 2012, 01:35:39 PM »

Just let it go. Why do you older Orthodox folks have to be so weird? I think that socializing with the opposite gender at that age may be good for kids in the long run because it teaches them how to act and understand the opposite gender better. When I was that age my mother actually encouraged me to try talking to girls more, but I was still too afraid and hormonial, so I didn't. And look what happened; three years later when I am 16 and I can still hardly hold a conversation with the opposite gender.

You obviously have no idea what it means to be a parent.  Your ignorance of life shows itself once again.  You're 16; what do you possibly know? When you become a parent (i hope that day never comes), let's see how quickly you change your tune.

What's more, you have said numerous times about how your parents were abusive and bad, but since your mom encouraged you to talk to girls, we should look to her as an example of good parenting?

Liza is not weird, nor are any of us older Orthodox Christians.  Liza is a teacher at a Sunday school entrusted with spiritual and moral edification of these youngsters.  I'm a teacher at a private school and  I know that if I fail to report anything that even looks abusive to the appropriate authorities and to the parents, I not only could lose my job, but kiss any chance of teaching again good-bye.

And what exactly does that have to do with the OP?
Everything, since the subject of discussion is how little wisdom teenagers have and how their parents and teachers have a responsibility to watch over them. The thing teenagers need to remember is that they're not adults yet.

The requirement to report pertains to abuse not teenage romance.
It's more inline with child safety, not just abuse.  If a teacher knows a teen is planning on doing something dangerous, without parental knowledge, they still have a responsibility to report it.  Let's not attempt to muddy the waters in a pointless path of legal definition since each jurisdiction is different.

Kids are, for lack of a better term, dumb.  It's the duty of adults to safeguard them until they are able to do it themselves, even if they don't want that protection.  More often than not, they do things on their own which cause them harm, mostly due to inexperience and stubbornness.  One of what I see as a major problem today is apathy.  No one wants to get involved, and that is simply pathetic. 

Good on her for actually caring.  It's refreshing and how we all should be.

But who safeguards the dumb adults that are charged with safeguarding the youth?
Really?
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« Reply #36 on: August 17, 2012, 03:15:04 PM »

This thread has been eye-opening. I thought my parents were conservative. They wouldn't allow us to date until we were 13. Maybe it is because my parents were born and raised in California and things tend to be more liberal here. I don't know.
 I know plenty of 13 year olds dating. It never crossed my mind that I might want to inform the parents. Most of my friends and acquaintances would probably find it quite odd that I might be worried that their 13 year old is dating.
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« Reply #37 on: August 17, 2012, 03:33:13 PM »


What is the purpose of "dating"? 

If you are simply hanging out with a guy, studying, going to the movies, etc...fine.

If you are "making out"...not so fine. 

Adults can't keep their hormones in check much less "just" turned 13 year old teens....who have no experience to fall back on, and may say "yes" only because they want the "love of their life" to love them.

Seriously?  To me 13 is too soon to be thinking of romance and sex.  No wonder their grades plummet.

Imagine all the peer pressure involved, too....to look cool, to be hip....to hit the standard that is advertised by modern media.

So, what is the true point of dating?

The only dates I ever went on were with men I would have considered possible marriage material.  There's no other reason to "date", other than to get to know each other, your likes/dislikes and see if you "match" for a lifelong commitment...and can raise your kids the way you envision them being raised.

Dating just for the "fun" of it....takes away from the true meaning, value and awesomeness of courtship.

The kids are belittling what it truly is...and in the process belittling and short changing themselves.

There is NO way a 13 year old can handle a true relationship....and when he dumps her, her heart will be broken, her self esteem will be shattered, her world will come to an end....and then she'll find the next boy....and the next and the next.

So, when she finally grows up why would she bother sticking with one guy?  The "newness" of the butterflies in her stomach is gone...they've turned to moths...it's just an old habit and has lost it's luster.

Some things are meant to be experienced in adulthood...to be savored...

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« Reply #38 on: August 17, 2012, 03:37:10 PM »

This thread has been eye-opening. I thought my parents were conservative. They wouldn't allow us to date until we were 13. Maybe it is because my parents were born and raised in California and things tend to be more liberal here. I don't know.
 I know plenty of 13 year olds dating. It never crossed my mind that I might want to inform the parents. Most of my friends and acquaintances would probably find it quite odd that I might be worried that their 13 year old is dating.
Dating or "going steady?" I told my daughters they can have a boyfriend, a new one every week if they want, but no dating until I say its ok.  See, giggles in the hallway are different than hands in the car.  Supervision is a requirement.  Knowing the boy and his parents is another.  If he wants to see her, come to my house.  If he refuses, he isn't worthy.  If he is a punk schmuck, it ends.  I could go on, but you get the idea.  I'm in a special position right now when it comes to this stuff, which I exploit to the fullest.

They do not go to anyone's home we don't know more than just in passing.  It's a dangerous world out there.  They hate it now, but will thank me later.  I also have a very honest and open relationship with them, but they know when I say something, there is no begging.  The older they get, he more they see I'm not just being mean.  They see bad things I am protecting them from.  I even made a monetary bet with my oldest on a few things.  She wrote them down.  A car for college is the bet.  She will get a bike.  I don't make losing bets. Wink
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« Reply #39 on: August 17, 2012, 04:28:57 PM »

I really appreciate what Liza is saying here.  Oftentimes we are raised in such a way that we begin to assume that there isn't an alternate perspective, that the way we are raised is the norm.  This helps me think outside of my own personal experience and I am thankful for that.  

My parents, like I said above, began to allow us to date at age 13.  It wasn't until we were 15 or 16 that we were allowed to go on unchaperoned dates.  There were pros and cons to my parents way of doing things.  For my sister at least, it helped her discover what she wanted in a future husband and it also allowed for my parents to play a significant role in that process.  I remember my parents being quite clear that dating was NOT  a serious thing.  I remember them telling my sister that she shouldn't get too attached to the guys she dated because the chances of those relationships developing into something serious were highly unlikely. But I remember my sister bringing certain guys home and my parents not liking the guys.  My parents didn't force them to break up, but would verbalize to her what they didn't like about the guy, what they envisioned for my sister, and they gently guided her (at least my mother did) towards a better path.  My sister married very young and is still with the same man.  They also have a child together.  My sister moved out at age 19 and if she hadn't had the experience of dating, I'm afraid she would have had to figure out everything on her own, without me or my parents having any sort of say or influence over it.  

On the other hand, neither me or my sister waited until marriage.  My first sexual experience was at age 16 or 17 and the same for my sister.  Although, knowing me and my sister and kids in general, we would have promptly lost our virginity at age 18.  In my experience, while the sexual energy of a 13 or 14 year old is more intense, an 18 year old is still a ball of sexual energy and nearly just as impulsive.  I believe we are living in a time where no matter what parents do, the chances of a child holding onto their virginity until marriage is highly unlikely, as sad as it is to say.  :-/

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« Reply #40 on: August 17, 2012, 05:04:19 PM »

What are you doing on kiddyporn sites  Smiley  I am sure that these people never heard the urban legend:

http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/birthdays/kids-birthday-party-ideas-00100000064145/page8.html

In any case, the time I was doing the volunteer work would have been right in the time frame that this was big news.

After working with 6-8th graders in band, I had to go home and ask my kids what a "rainbow party" was.  I have to say that I was somewhat taken aback that this behaviour happened at such an early age!

I'm pretty sure that legend is old enough that I may have heard about it in high school.

Right up there with the yellow five in Mountain Dew shrinking your testicles.

Yeah, I believe that the infamous 'rainbow party' was invented by Oprah to create sensationalism and drive ratings.  After doing extensive research on many...um...'scholarly' sites on the internet I have yet to see any proof that this is phenomenon actually exists outside of the mainstream media.  Much like 'job creation'.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2012, 05:10:26 PM by Punch » Logged

I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.
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« Reply #41 on: August 17, 2012, 05:41:41 PM »

I'm with James R and James Rottnek on this one.

I think we three are all still young enough where the idea of the above "chaperoned activities" appealing to kids, or keeping the trouble-prone ones out of trouble, seems absolutely insane.

But if we're wrong, glory to God that people are benefiting.
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« Reply #42 on: August 17, 2012, 05:54:59 PM »

I believe we are living in a time where no matter what parents do, the chances of a child holding onto their virginity until marriage is highly unlikely, as sad as it is to say.  :-/

I lost my virginity at a young age, probably 1-3 years. I assume what happened was, I was cruel to another child, or wanted nothing other than a particular toy, or needlessly ignored my parents who loved me. And from all these sorts of things are idolatries and murders and adulteries and fornications and double-mindedness and oppressions.

According to the teaching of our Scriptures and our Church, everyone loses their virginity at an incredibly young age, if not from birth, in this fallen kosmos. This is not a new thing.

What is new: We have an Intercessor whose reign takes humans who have defiled themselves by whoring against their true God and restores them to virginity. Not the static, nihilistic, suicide-inducing "purity" of the Evangelicals or the Cathari, but the dynamic and vivifying virginity of moving from Glory to Glory in communion with Adonai Elohim.

When Christ went to heal the paralytic, he told the crowd: "Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, and walk'?"

Which is easier, to purify the defiled Image in man of ultimate idolatry, or to purify the body of the knowledge of porneia? And God will ultimately do both.
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« Reply #43 on: August 17, 2012, 06:05:38 PM »

The only dates I ever went on were with men I would have considered possible marriage material.  There's no other reason to "date", other than to get to know each other, your likes/dislikes and see if you "match" for a lifelong commitment...and can raise your kids the way you envision them being raised.

This brings to mind the saying/cliche "choose only a date who would make a great mate". It's perhaps quite old fashioned by now (my grandmother used to say it), but I think it's still true.

Great post, Liza.

JamesR,

Forgive me, but it seems like in your post you are castigating us "older folks" (older than 16, I guess...I am about twice your age, but definitely don't consider myself old) for not seeing things from the kid's point of view or whatever ("adults who have long forgotten what it is like to be a child"). What you don't seem to grasp is that because they/we have already been there, we can see where these kinds of things might lead, whereas the child is only thinking about right now, and how much they "love" the boyfriend or girlfriend, and not really about the long term and how their actions today can affect their lives forever. Kids are not good at that kind of long-term thinking. So the kid's point of view isn't a point of view from which anyone should be making decisions. You can take that as an insult if you wish, but it's really not, because like I wrote, people who aren't in that stage of their life any more recognize it for what it is because we once were like that. (Probably. It might not have been over the opposite sex, but no one is immune to stupid.) So to say "You don't remember what it's like to be a kid; you don't know/you're being unfair" sounds pretty silly, when the adult knows better than you ever could, because they've already been where you are. That's kind of what this thread is about, because there are some things that it's best to save for later so that you don't have to learn such hard lessons at a very young age, before you're ready for them. (And there is no 13 year old in the world who is really ready for romantic relationships and/or sex; NONE. Such a child does not exist. Heck, I know plenty of adults who don't seem to qualify, judging from their behavior. Wink)
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« Reply #44 on: August 17, 2012, 06:21:52 PM »

I'm with James R and James Rottnek on this one.

I think we three are all still young enough where the idea of the above "chaperoned activities" appealing to kids, or keeping the trouble-prone ones out of trouble, seems absolutely insane.

But if we're wrong, glory to God that people are benefiting.

Then all three of you are fools. But, the rest of us here knew that already.

Your continued insistence on calling others fools, idiots, or other such demeaning names, even while you're already on warned status for doing this, shows that you cannot be trusted to keep your communications with others civil. Therefore, you are now on Post Moderation for the next 40 days. Please use this time of restricted posting to examine how you relate to others on this forum and why your behavior is not welcome here. If you wish to appeal this warning, feel free to send me a private message.

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