Against The Grain
We have very strong beliefs on how relationships should go and many reason for our beliefs that I will write about later. Having these beliefs isn't enough, we have to teach these beliefs to our little men and woman! One practical exercise we do often is mother-son dating! We hope that they will be so used to treating me properly that it will become natural to them when they are ready to venture into the world of dating! I am writing this post as a list of things I teach the boys to do while we are on one of our mother son dates. I'm hoping this will keep me on my toes and give me a place to add new ideas! It is important to understand that I am writing this list with our beliefs of how relationships work. We have a christian philosophy behind our ideas, I will write a post more about that soon. On our dates, I am to be treated like a lady in the traditional sense and they are to be gentleman in the traditional sense.
1. Doors, doors, doors! I don't open doors! My husband always opens my doors. It reminds me that he cares and that I am important. It also makes him feel manly when I let him open the door for me and I don't want to take away an opportunity to make him feel good about himself! On dates with my husband or my boys, they open my car door and every single door we approach!
2. Chairs...they are expected to pull out my chair and let me sit first.
4. Conversation...my boys are learning to ask questions and LISTEN to the response. Listen, listen and listen more to really hear me and understand me. It is their job to keep the conversation going.
5. Go OUT! They need to know what I like to do and take me there. No hanging out at home. Hanging out at home is NOT a date, when they are older hanging out at home with a girl they like is nothing but a temptation for things they plan to wait until marriage for!
6. Make sure the car is clean...they need to clean the car! It may be my car and I may be driving but they need to learn to respect a woman enough to not put her in a dirty car when they have their own.
7. Take a shower, put deodarant on, brush your teeth. No girl wants to know what you smell like in the morning!
8. A date is for two people. When we are on a date, this is not the time to call your friends, text your friends or invite your friends.
9. Put the phone away. This is not a time for us to sit together scrolling Facebook, this is a time to get to know each other and grow together.
10. Create memories, memories come from the fun times and the deep conversations. Don't focus on the date itself, focus on the person you are with.
11. No kissing! Okay, obviously me and my children aren't going to have this problem. But it is important to let them know that the amount of time we spend not kissing, is the exact amount of time they should spend kissing a real date. Dates are not about being physical, that is for the wedding night. Dates are to get to know each other on the inside, not the outside!
12. Choose a date location that will allow for talking. My 8 yr old likes the movies so he is sure to plan a meal or something else if we are doing a movie because sitting in a movie theater does not allow enough time to get to know each other.
13. Dress nice. I'm not saying they have to wear a tie. But lets ditch the flip flops and basketball shorts for our date. They need to learn to show a girl that they put effort into getting ready for this date because she is worth it.
14. Hold my hand, put your arm around me, stay connected. This shows me you care and makes me feel good!
15. Date more than me. They should take their grandmas, sisters and aunts out on dates too. They will have to date all sorts of people before they find the one they want to marry so it is important they learn different personalities and how to treat each one of them.
17. If there is only one seat, give it up!
18. Help others. Yes the date is all about each other but when my boys see a woman or an older couple approaching a door, they run to it! If someone is a dollar short, give it to them. (If they are 20 dollars short...feel bad for them?)
19. Table Manners. My boys can get pretty sloppy during dinner time. Especially Aaron, my 8 yr old, he has something against silverware! On our date, they are required to sit up straight, use silverware, wipe their hands on napkins and keep themselves and their area clean.
20. Mean is not funny. My boys can crack a joke with the best of them, but being sure not to joke at someone else's expense it super important.
I have a feeling this list will grow with time. These are the things I was able to think through as I sit here typing but, as I continue to date my children, I will continue to see more things they need to learn and I will add it to the list.
Did you notice something I missed? Comment and let me know!