In mid-August 2010, at the ripe old age of 5, my oldest son went on his first date. He approached me about a week prior and told me of his intentions. I agreed, but offered a few simple rules for him to follow:
#1. Be a gentleman.
Open the door. Give sincere compliments. Have good table manners. Always be characterized by the needs of others before your own.
#2. Make eye contact and listen.
Show her she is important by paying attention to her. Truly listening to her shows respect.
#3. Pick up the check.
The guy doesn’t always have to pay for everything; however on the first date he should. Not only is this polite it also sets the tone for his understanding of his future role as provider.
Disclaimer: Due to strict child labor laws, Hunter was limited on his ability to generate any income, so I spotted him a few bucks. Liz also had to help him figure out the tip, but overall, he did a good job.
As our boys mature, Liz and I will have additional conversations with them about boundaries (physical and emotional), about leadership and intentions, and plenty about respect and purity.
More important than all these conversations is the example that I provide. How I treat their Mom will set the tone for how they view women. Through my words and actions, for better or worse, I will teach them what respectful behavior is.
One day, each of my boys will fall in love with a beautiful young lady and begin an exciting new chapter in their book of life; however Chapter One will be always be dedicated to the first girl they ever loved…their Mom.
Parents – make sure you teach your kids how to date. They can start with you!