Too Much Too Soon?

Recently, I was on a cruise to the Bahamas. On the third day of the cruise I decided to go to the bow of the ship for some peace and quiet. After I found a spot, I nodded off for about five minutes, only to be awakened by the conversation of three women who had placed their lounge chairs next to mine.

Because they were so loud, I was so comfortable, and they seemed not to mind, I sat there and listened to their conversation. The conversation was about one of the women’s teenage daughter and her boyfriend (obviously high school students). However, it was far from what I expected. The mom was upset because she felt her daughter’s friends were jealous of her daughter’s relationship with her boyfriend. “I told her they’re just jealous and you should not let them ruin your relationship. Ryan’s a great kid and you two are great together.”

The other ladies asked “How serious are they?” The mom replied “They’re pretty serious. They’ve been dating for about a year now and it just frustrates me how people are always trying to ruin their relationship.” The mother continued to go on and on about her daughter’s relationship, talking about upcoming dances, next year’s prom, and more.

What amazed me is how serious the mother was taking this relationship. She seemed as engaged in their relationship as a soap opera junkie is in “All My Children.” My questions to parents are: “How seriously should your children date? Should high school students even get involved in serious dating relationships? What effects do you think serious dating relationships during high school have on their sexual behavior?”

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