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December 20, 2017

Talking to our kids about dating

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
But the very next day, you gave it away
(“Last Christmas,” Wham!)

 

Talking to teenagers about dating can prove very difficult. Choosing which of our own experiences to share, and which of our hard-earned lessons to teach, is half the battle. The other half is having the humility to recognize that our kids may not hear those stories and lessons the way we imagine.

 

For instance, similar to the Wham! song quoted above, I once got my heart broken during the holidays. Right before Christmas of my senior year in high school, I gave a ring to the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen. Lucky for me, she also happened to be the only girl who’d ever agreed to be my girlfriend.

 

A week later, however, she gave the ring back, along with the “girlfriend” title as well.

 

Ouch.

 

So what’s the lesson here…Don’t get too serious too soon? (Maybe.) What else…Guard your heart until you’re certain you’ve found the one? (Tempting, but how is that even possible?)

 

Perhaps the best move is to simply tell our teens the stories, and then ask what they think. That’s what I decided to do with this one. I poured out my sad song, and here was my son’s response:

 

“Dad, you gave her a ring for Christmas, in high school? No wonder Mom dumped you.”

 

“I guess she already told you her side, eh?”

 

“There is no other side, Dad.”

 

Ouch. Again.

 

On second thought, maybe we should let our teens figure it out themselves.

 

The three best versions of “Last Christmas”:

 

1. Wham!
2. Taylor Swift
3. Glee Cast (yeah, yeah, I know…but still)

 

Peace begins with pause,

 

 

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