Military Dance

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Registered: 05-30-2007
Military Dance
27
Tue, 10-01-2013 - 1:51pm

I got a call from our Youth Pastor and a young boy in our youth group in the 9th grade age 15 in ROTC wants to invite my daughter whom will turn 13 in December to the Military Ball that will take place in late March at that time there will be 2 years age gap and 2 grades gap, but he wants to invite her just as friends because they hang out in the youth group at church totally innocent and I trust him. I issue is SHE IS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL!  I am crazy. I know most 9th graders enter the 9th grade at age 14 and my daughter would be 13, but I feel she would feel ackward with teens in high school.  She wouldn't know anyone other then the boy she is going with. Her Dad said NO but its the Military Ball and she looks so much older thats why the young boy was going to ask her because he thought she was 14 and in the 8th grade.  Ok tell me what you think honestly but be nice................

Confused Undecided

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Registered: 08-08-2009
Sat, 10-05-2013 - 1:30am

Dacusvillegirl, thinking again about your daughter’s situation and what others said, it may very well be that the youth pastor is trying to look for a way to forewarn you as parents and also find a way to keep anybody’s feelings from getting hurt. I would do as your husband was going to do and chat with the youth pastor and try to work together with him.. Also, if I felt that this whole thing would make DD feel uncomfortable, I would try to keep her from ever knowing. As we all said they may be right for each other at a later date, but not now. And you want both parents to be on the same page and if one has bad vibes after giving it fair consideration, this would be a NO GO SITUATION in our home. I would make sure that the boy knew it was not a rejection of him but the timing.

As I read between the lines, I think you and hubby are good parents and mostly on the same page. Your DD is fortunate to have you and so will your future SIL be fortunate to have you—this guy or a different guy.

I talked with mom earlier and she says that neither she nor dad were the other’s first date to a school dance; just the last dates. So, the only “kinky couples” I know, who married the first and only person they went to a school dance with (or any date for that matter), are our daughters and SILs. LOL My point is: Relax Dacusvillegirl, the odds are WAY against this going beyond that one date, if you and hubby do allow it.

Sabrtooth, how did you know we are of Bangladesh ancestry? LOL Joking of course. Dare I say we are all of European decent, except the Butchman, youngest SIL, who is 5/32 American Indian from three different tribes—tribes that once tried to kill each other. Two summers ago, we’re at Custards Last Stand and later at Wounded Knee when Butchman starts talking about “my people who you pale faces tried to eliminate so that you could steal our lands. And here I am married to one and living with them.” LOL Same routine as we stood at Plymouth this summer. “My people gave you pale faces food to keep you from starving and how did you repay our kindness, you stole our lands.” LOL

I found nothing in what Sabrtooth said that I can disagree with. Our situation is NOT one that we would have planned, but we’re hopeful about the future-and for good reasons. We are all fully aware of just how risky teen marriages are. All of us can think of dozens that ended badly for every good one that has lasted. To a certain extent, I suppose we are like the gal who was laying on a gurney in the mash unit of Iran and heard the doctors talking about her chances of survival being 2% and thought, “I might as well be in that 2%.” And she was.

Even older couples can screw things up royally and my poster boys for that would be VP Al Gore and almost VP John Edwards. Who would have ever thunk it? Old dumb me, I was stunned by both. My mother still reminds me that, “You are either growing closer or apart. Be careful to always be growing closer, Kimmy!”

What starts out as friendship often goes south early on for many, perhaps most. For a few the friendship becomes a romance with marriage and hopefully one that lasts a lifetime. We call those folks, “lucky in love.”

After the Halloween dance we let the girls go with a group of friends, which included the guys and sometimes as many as another dozen kids, to the mall, movies, Six Flags on the weekend. Also, the Christmas Dance, Valentines Dance. Spring Dance, End of School Dance, which at the junior high are more a group activity than a couple thing. Mostly the junior high dances are along the lines of what Sabrtooth said about Suzy + Jonny in a heart. Hubby and I still help out when the junior high or high school needs some help. Other than trying to act older, I don’t think many have a clue, especially the guys

Butch gave youngest daughter a book of a dozen movie tickets for Christmas. She asked him and her sister to go with her, while oldest future SIL was with his parents on their annual after Christmas trip to grandpa’s ski cabin. Several of those movie trips were with other teens going to the same movie.

The following summer the four of them would often walk, with six to twelve other teens, the three miles to Six Flags or Hurricane Harbor waterpark where the parents would pick them up after work. Other times they bummed a ride from a neighbor going shopping or running errands in exchange for things like mowing their lawns, feeding their dog while they were on vacation. They started mowing lawns together as a team business.

Starting with summer school that summer and continuing on when classes resumed for the fall, they often studied together in the living room of one of the homes, as they were all in the same classes. The younger two went on diets together and went to a local fitness club together several nights per week.

They enjoyed playing bridge, hearts, spades, and strip poker (joking) together in various combinations. Often times there would be a Friday or Saturday evening group of maybe a dozen teens playing these games at one of our homes, with adult supervision, Beer (root), RC Cola, Moonpies, Papa John’s Pizza, or hot dogs and hamburglars off the gas grill out back.

Are all these activities dates? YUP, they are, if the definition of date is a boy and a girl spending time together doing things together that they both enjoy. Can’t deny that.

Once you’re down the river, it’s almost impossible to turn around and shoot the rapids back up the stream. And we would not change the way things are, even if we could. .

Avatar for sabrtooth
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Registered: 12-03-1999
Fri, 10-04-2013 - 2:14pm

Liz, my kids never had BF's in HS either.  They both had a bunch of friends, and they went to all the dances as a group.  Half the time, no one even had a specific "date". 

And they CERTAINLY didn't have BF's in middle school, except someone they sat next to on the bus, and held hands with while passing to class -- "Suzy + Jonny in a heart with an arrow thru it-crushes", but that was it. 

This is not Bengladesh.  There is SOOO much more to experience in life besides being chained to a partner at 13, having sex at 15, married at 17 and a passle of kids by 21.  The qualities you look for in the opposite sex, at 13, are NOT the same ones you use at 16, OR (hopefully) after you graduate college.  Your life goals at 13 are WAAAY different than those you have after                 experiencing emotional and intellectual maturity.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Fri, 10-04-2013 - 10:42am

I was thinking of the proms and dance that my DD went to in high school--I don't think she ever had a date w/ any of those guys other than the dance.  And I think she did most of the asking because she was very social and if all her friends were going to go to a dance, then she wanted to be there too.  I think most of that was wanting to be with her friends and wanting to dress up--the guy was more of an afterthought--as long as he was a friend and nice guy, that was enough.  She never really had a BF in high school.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Fri, 10-04-2013 - 3:32am

Another ramble of mine here, but I put my point to the original poster in bold type.

I got a nice e-mail from Nancy Reagan thanking me for saying that she was 26 and Ronny was 41 on their wedding date. She said, “What lady doesn’t enjoy being listed as five years younger than she really is? However, I was nearing 31 on our wedding day.” Obviously, I’m joking and looked her up on Google to see what ages they were.

I have a theory about Ronny and Nancy that may or may not be correct. Nancy, like my mother, my youngest daughter, and me, had a baby about seven months after the wedding. My daughter and I somehow screwed up on the birth control which was not around back in Nancy and my mother’s day; condoms were about all there was back then. My daughter and I were both planning our weddings when it happened. Not sure about mom and dad other than it was unplanned, like about half of all pregnancies. I think that Nancy may have been hearing the ticking of the old biological clock and did like a gal I knew back in college who was dating a hunk, and somewhat of a playboy, when she got preggers. The other girls figured she went off the pill and used a paper punch on the hunk’s condoms. They appear to be still happily married. I think Nancy wanted Ronny and may have used a paper punch on the condoms, but that is only a theory. What is not a theory is that this was one of the great romances of our time.

Returning to the Military Ball situation: I do see that 27 plus months is a big difference between the two. However, If the girl wants to go, if she is comfortable with the fact that she will be among lots of older kids for a few hours, if the guy understands that he has a duty to stay with her and help support and protect her feelings, if they both understand that this is an exception to a reasonable age for dating rule (reasonable in the eyes of the parents, not theirs), etcetera, I think I probably would have let our girls go at 13¼ to a well supervised dance. Even if he is driving, you may want to chofer them to and form. However, I also think this is an issue that both parents need to be united and in agreement on in front of the daughter.

One of two pieces of advice my mother gave me when I married, and that I passed on to my daughters was, “Never ever let the kids find any daylight between you and their father.” And I never saw any daylight between my mom and dad. Going back to what Rose said about “picking your battles carefully,” I think this is also true with the spouse. In short, if after careful consideration one parent says no, then the answer is no, and the kid should never know that there was a split decision compromise on no. One trick hubby and I used was to say something like, “Your dad and I will have to review and discuss this before we can give an answer.” Lots of times the issue disappeared before we had to give an answer. After the weddings, “Discuss that with your hubby.” Mother never said anything about that, but she and dad and hubbies parents never entered into our decisions and we try to do the same with the couples.

Musiclover said, “I mean it’s only a dance, they don’t have to get married after it . . . .” I chuckled and thought, “Yeah, the ‘we want to get married’ came about four years after that Halloween dance in our house.” Seriously, other than our daughters and maybe my mom and dad, I can’t think of any other couples who married the first person they went to a dance with. If anything, I bet most may not even have made it to a second dance together.

In our state, when my parents were teens, teens could drive at 14. My parents were glad the age was raised to 16 by the time we reached our teens. Parents our age are glad that the state has put even more restrictions on teen driving. Up until a few years ago, maybe 15 years or less, parents could sign for a 14 year old to get married in our state. That has been raised to 16. One of my standard jokes was, if I knew our daughter would be happy, I would sign off on her marring at 14. Our older daughter and SIL were both 18. Younger daughter and SIL were 2 days and 30 days shy of being 17. Both couples wanted to “go all the way” which to them meant marriage. At 3½ plus years things look really good, but that can change quickly as we all know. And yes all three sets of parents were and continue to be worried. Worry is a major part of being a parent and according to my mother does not stop when the youngest is 18, or 21, or 39 plus something. like me. We signed off on the marriages because it was clear that married or not married, it was going to be a train wreck either way if the wheels ever come off. Also, the older two could hitch any time and were going to, the younger two would hitch the following year, and we wanted it to be a serious event in their lives. We also knew the caliber of these romances. Another thing that entered my mind was that even if it ended in divorce that would not be much different than hubbies and my situation. We are both on our first marriage, but we also each had two failed shack ups, which are effectively trial marriages that failed. (I told you that hubby and I were really messed up when we married. Those failed trial marriages were part of the baggage we took ten years working our way through.)

Over the years, I have walked though country graveyards where portions of our family rest. As I look at those old headstones, some have a heart, between the names of the couples, with the wedding date of the couple. Lots of 15 and 16 and 17 year old brides married to 17 and 18 and 19 and 20 and 21 year old grooms; even spotted a bride who was still 14. Yes, life expectancy was shorter and educational requirements minimal back then, these idiots were too young to know what they were doing, but lots of happiness in those lives also.

Avatar for suzyk2118
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Registered: 07-30-1997
Thu, 10-03-2013 - 12:21pm

I'm in this line with Music - I'd think it'd be well chaperoned, etc. but since she doesn't know anyone else and is younger, what if he decides to hang with other friends? I'd think it'd be awkward for her.

Sue

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 10-03-2013 - 11:40am

I am not that concerned about the dating aspect of it if as you say the boy likes her more as a friend and you know that he's a good kid (verified by the Pastor, no less).  I mean it's only a dance, they don't have to get married after it and since he's not old enough to drive himself there, the parents can chaperone the driving.  Being ROTC, I would also assume there are certain standards of behavior they they are expected to adhere to and it won't be a free for all.  I would just think that a 7th grader going to bascially a high school dance would feel so awkward--not only will she not know anyone but the boy but there will be so many older kids, sophisticated girls and boys and they will be looking at her like a child (which she is).  I can't really imagine it would even be that much fun for her to go.

Avatar for sabrtooth
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Registered: 12-03-1999
Wed, 10-02-2013 - 11:33pm

If there are only a dozen kids in the group, then he REALLY HASN'T paid attention to her, if he didn't know her age.  You are making a good decision here.  There is NO reason to get involved with boys, and all the pressure that puts on a girl, at her age.  There is SO much more to life.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Wed, 10-02-2013 - 8:24pm

Ah, I did not fully understand, which is not unusual for me. I thought your daughter was 13 and in 8th grade already, not still 12 and in 7th grade. Still not sure about how great the age divide is, but if he turned 15 last week and she turns 13 in December that would be a minimum of 27 months which is, dare I say, quite wide for their ages.

Our youngest daughter was about your daughter’s age when the four of them went off to the school Halloween dance. Our girls were still 12 and 13. Both SILs are about a month younger than their brides. At the time of that first dance, would hubby and I let them go to a dance at their school or over at the high school with guys 27 months older than them? Of course . . . . NOT. Not even I am that crazy. LOL

Seriously, he may be “the guy” at some future date when the age difference is insignificant. Many stranger things have occurred. Ronald Reagan was like forty-one when he married Nancy, who I believe was 26. A long widowhood for her (especially when you consider that his mind was gone by 1995, “for better or worse, in sickness and health”), but a wonderful life for both of them (forty plus good years together before 1995). If that is my lot in life with hubby, I’ll take it with pleasure. (I’m speaking of the love relationship, not the other less important stuff like the White House. John and Abigail Adams were similarly blessed. Lucky in love, indeed.)

Returning to what I said about being kind and gentle with this young man’s ego, as I have heard Ellen of the Ellen show close the dozen or so shoes that I have caught the tale end of: “Be kind to one another out there.” Ronald Reagan’s son Ron says his dad oftne said, “A gentleman always does the kind thing.” Good advice from both the left and the right politically speaking.

As I alluded to earlier, a church group is a wonderful place to find friends of all types. Much better than a frat house kegger and other similar venues. They can and should remain good friends, enjoy each others company at church and in the youth group and leave the future in the hands of their LORD. As I said he may be the right guy and she may be the right gal for him at a future date. Or their LORD may have better mates for each of them than they could ever be for each other.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-30-2007
Wed, 10-02-2013 - 1:17pm

It was the young pastor his uncle and it was a heads up slash permisson kind of.  No my daughter doesn't know yet, my husband said he would talk to the Youth Pastor tonight and I feel now since I have everyones advice that it's best she don't know.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-30-2007
Wed, 10-02-2013 - 1:14pm

i think i agree she wont have fun without her girls there and he is a great guy, it truly is a friendship, most people think she is 14 to 16 so I understand he didn't know her age.