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My parents are so strict I am getting teased about it!

Tagged as: Dating, Family, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (30 June 2014) 7 Answers - (Newest, 6 July 2014)
A female United States age 16-17, anonymous writes:

OK, so I need some advice. My parents are really, really strict and I've NEVER been on a date before. Even when I hang out with friends, I'm not allowed to do it unless they drive us there and back and they're really strict on the amount of time. If we go to the movies, it has to be church-approved (which is basically no movies at all). If we go to the mall, we're only allowed certain stores, if we look at books, it's only allowed certain ones, we're not allowed to listen to even Christian rock and so on. Mostly, it's church get-togethers and mostly only kids from church (I go to church school) and sometimes neighbor kids but if I go to their house my parents (or one of them wants to be there all the time and NO overnights).

The real problem is that this guy in the neighborhood likes me. He has always been very nice and we have spent time together in groups at house parties and he's gone to church with my family a few times. Well, he wants to go on a date with me to a restaurant but my parents insit on chaperoning the date so now he's making fun of me and so is everyone else. Pretty much everyone won't talk to me anymore and I don't know what to do It's really breaking me up!

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (6 July 2014):

CindyCares agony auntI second what FA says. And mind you, by my personal standards your parents's rule are exceedingly, almost insanely strict - yet you are 13 ? case closed. You don't go on official " dates " , alone with a boy , at night, in a restaurant - at 13. That would be not just unwise but also, pardon me, slightly ridicolous.

There's an age and stage for everything. Be patient.

My SIXTEEN y.o. niece still only goes on group dates , and she enjoys a high level of personal freedom, like, right now she is alone in Berlin attending a summer language course. Well, she is in a school of course, they are supervised, have curfews, etc., yet traveling abroad by yourself and being by yourself in a big foreign city at 16 , I would not say she is kept under lock and key,right ? Yet, group dates only . As a matter of fact , she does not mind at all , nor her bf. Generally young teens are gregarious and they LOVE being in groups and going places / doing things in group. Less romantic, maybe, but more FUN.

Ths boy is pressuring you to grow up too fast and to wish for age-inapproriate things... because of his own vested interests :). Don't let him .

He wants to kiss you , but- do you want to kiss him ?... I am not scandalized by 13 y.o. kids making out- but

everybody is different. For you it's still : eeeew, gross. So you are not ready for that yet, - don't push it , and don't let people push you, everybody blooms at different times.

That unluckily does not solve the problem of where and when you could kiss a boy in future if you'd feel ready- if you have to abide by your parents' stringent rules of no kisses until marrage. I must say that this IS really strict in a Western society , and really unusual, I mean, I see around MUSLIM couples kissing and holding hands ... but you'll cross that bridge when you'll reach there . maybe in time your parents will relax a bit their standsrds, and anyway, once you grow and mature , and, most of all, come of age - you will adopt,choose and enforce your own rules ,if those you have grown up with do not resonate with you anymore.

But for now ( and forever, actually ) just be true to yourself and don't let anybody shame you or bully you into doing something which you do not realy want.

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A male reader, Fatherly Advice United States + , writes (6 July 2014):

Fatherly Advice agony auntI'm a less strict christian than your parents. I do agree on some points 13 is an appropriate age for chaperoned outings. But Kissing before marriage? I think I know exactly one couple who waited for the preachers OK to start kissing. Don't get me wrong, I don't think you should kiss this 13 year old guy. Here is my reason. You think it is gross. That's proof enough. You are not ready for that yet, and you know it. As I mentioned before you have chosen yourself to believe that. Now as time goes forward your feelings about kissing may change. Your beliefs may change as well. What ever you do don't change your beliefs to get some friends approval. Be true to your self. When you understand more and have learned and felt more then your belief changes come from your new knowledge.

Most important thing out of all I am saying here is this: If it feels wrong don't do it.

FA

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 July 2014):

OP writing

I am 13 and yes, Chaperoned means that they are sharing a table at dinner. I mean, if we are at Burger King we are at a different table but they come over if they hear wrong conversations or something. Or they do sit in a different seat in the movies but make us leave if it turns out it isn't approved of. They dno't even ask for money back. They don't follow us at KMart or the Mall all the time but if we go to a park we have to be in eye sight and we held hands once and they put a stop to that.

The boy got mad because he asked how he was supposed to kiss me if my parents listened in on every conversation and all that and always watched and I said that was gross and that is why he made fun on me and started all that. I mean, I would like to go on dates but I am not ready to kiss! You aren't even supposed to do that until you are married anyway! At least not how my parents and most people I know say.

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A female reader, So_Very_Confused United States + , writes (1 July 2014):

So_Very_Confused agony auntThe boy doesn't like you as much as you think if he's making fun of you and allowing your "friends" to do so as well.

13 is too young for one on one dating... 15 is group dating IMO.... not till past 16 should one on one dating happen...

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A male reader, Fatherly Advice United States + , writes (1 July 2014):

Fatherly Advice agony auntEven the best intentions of parents can go astray. My house rules were more lax than your parents but dating was still wait until 16 and then in groups please.

I wonder if you are thinking it is time for a rebellion? If so I think you should consider 2 things. One your parents really do love you. What they are doing (even if it doesn't always work) is their best attempt to insure a happy future for you. Two, You are going to need your parents for the next 10 years or so. You might want to keep them on your side for now.

As to the embarrassment you are suffering. Contrary to the claims of teenagers around the world it is impossible to die of embarrassment. I should know I have conducted many experiments with my own children. Your best defense is to play the independent teen card. Yes I obey my parents rules and I respect them, because that is what I have chosen to believe. Now if you haven't chosen those beliefs for yourself yet, then that doesn't work so well. But think about the personal beliefs that you do own and see if they can work to help you explain why you choose to do what you do or don't do.

There will always be people different than you. Gaining their approval is less important than gaining your own.

FA

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 June 2014):

That depends on your age and on what you mean by chaperoning and what you mean by your parents having to be there when you are at a friend's house. Are they always in the room with you or are you allowed in the friend's bedroom or down the basement or in another room watching some approved movie or whatever? How much privacy are you allowed? Are you only allowed same-gender friends in that respect? Do you play in mixed gender groups at all? How does that work? Are you allowed in mixed-gender groups like a barbeque with at least one adult or other adults outside mingling but no one is hanging on your every word? What does it mean that dates are chaperoned? Would you be sitting in a movie or at a restaurant while they are at another table or would you be sharing a table as if he were over for dinner? If you are 13, that all makes sense. If you are 15, then sharing a table once or twice makes sense, but then you should get more privacy as they learn to trust him. This sounds like largely a cultural thing and if he REALLY likes you, he isn't going to try to make a move on you. He also has to understand that your parents want to make sure that you're not going to get past hand-holding or anything like that and that you wouldn't be dating, you would be courting. I was raised similarly and I caught a lot of crap for it too! I'm sure he's just more frustrated and making fun of YOU because HE is catching some crap from the other kids for not getting any action. Forget him and forget THEM. It's not because they don't trust YOU, it's because they don't trust the WORLD. Keep getting to know guys as PEOPLE on a SPIRITUAL INTELLECTUAL level and THEN on a PHYSICAL level later. Trust me, most of the world does it backward and look at all the pain you see here right on this site. I'm sure there's a correlation.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 June 2014):

Talk to your parents. Be open and forget about all other people. Don't forget that your parents care about your safety

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