What are your dating rules?

Avatar for threewishes
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-07-2003
What are your dating rules?
Thu, 09-02-2010 - 3:01pm

As a parent of three, two of which are teens, I'm wondering what kind of rules other families have when their children start dating.


Community Leader
Registered: 06-27-2006
Thu, 09-02-2010 - 3:35pm
Great topic!

My DD who is 15 has a curfew of 11 and DS who is 16 has a curfew of 12. No questions, no exceptions. We have, in the past, let them go to the other house. Now, given our situation, I wish we hadn't. If bf/gf is here, they are allowed in their rooms with door open. Luckily, our current house is small and the bedrooms are right off the living room. DS1&2 share a room, so we would send him in every once in a while to check things out. LOL. We do have different rules for DS and DD, but because he is older.


Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Thu, 09-02-2010 - 3:53pm

DS18 dated one girl less than 2 months his jr year of HS, and that meant at school or right after before their activities at school, so it really wasn't an issue til this past summer when he met a girl from a neighboring school who is also a HS graduate.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Thu, 09-02-2010 - 4:15pm

Well, my kids are all grown up so no dating rules now. DD is 22 and DS will be 20 soon.

When they were in high school, neither dated. They would have friends over or would go to their friends' homes. No policing was required. If they went out, they would either get us to pick them up or one of the other parents would drive them home,if it was in the evening. None of their friends, including them, had cars during high school. So, no need for curfews.
If they were going out, they would say "hey, mom, I am going to a movie with X & Y, be home after the movie at 11pm, Ok?" And they would be home at 11pm.
Even now, they do not stay out late. They both are always home by midnight because they know I will stay up until they come home.

As for birth control, there was no need.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-21-2008
Thu, 09-02-2010 - 5:17pm

I only have the 15yo left at home, but about the only RULEs I had for all of them, is I need a parents phone number and the "date" or "boyfriend" MUST come and have a conversation with me before you will be allowed out with him. If it was another parent driving them, I would need to meet the driver and if it was me I would go to their door. I always talked to the other parent(s) first before any first date. THEN, the really annoying one- "You will NEVER exit the house to a car honking" didn't matter if it was a girl either! If whoever they were going to hang out with dosen't have the common courtesy to come to the door- you are NOT going! Oh, this wasen't referring to "girlfriends" but I guess that was the same rule when my middle DD thought she'd get a reaction by claiming she might be gay. She decided that wasen't fun anymore after I payed for and displayed the Homecoming and some other formal event pictures that she went to with girls.

At this point, sometimes the DD's BF's mother will come to take her to a movie with them and as she pulls up the drive we both go out so they can go in a hurry as they live quite a ways away and she tends to run late, but the kids have been "dating" for close to 2 years (18 mo? Oops, I don't remember) and his mom and I aren't friends exactly, but we're "friendly", if we don't meet them outside, bf comes to the door!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2001
Thu, 09-02-2010 - 6:57pm

My dd#1, 15yo, has been with her bf for about a year now. Early on we insisted on group or double dates. They occasionally will do things with others now, but for the most part they are either at our house, his house, or doing something with one family or the other. They've only had one real one on one date. They went out for lunch together to celebrate their 6 month anniversary.

We expect our dd to spend as much time with girl friends as with her bf. Thankfully her bf parents feel the same way and so he will have evenings with the guys.

Curfew hasn't been an issue yet since parents are driving. We live in an area that isn't walkable (limited sidewalks) and the bf's family lives about 1o miles away off of a country highway. Once driving becomes an issue (not until December for the bf, and February for dd) we will talk through curfew. Our state requires under aged drivers to be off the road by 10 on school nights and 11 on weekends.

As far as birth control goes, I've made an appointment with a ob/gyn for my dd. I don't believe they have become sexually active yet, but I'm not naive and would prefer to have her protected. I was not quite 20 when she was born. I'd really like for her to be able to finish college before becoming a mother.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Thu, 09-02-2010 - 8:41pm

My 2 dds are grown also, but when they WERE teens, here were our rules till they went to college...
No one-on-one dating till they were 16, and then on a case by case basis.
No one-on-one dating till we'd met the boy--come in, sit down, relax, converse type of meet.
No dating anyone more than 2 years older till they went to college, then not more than 4 years older till they left college or home.
No KIDS in our house when we were not home, till we were very comfortable the other kids AND their parents were on the same wavelength as we were.
No BOYFRIENDS(theirs OR anybody else's) in our house when we were not home.
No BOYS in bedrooms, or rooms with doors, period. Family room, kitchen, deck.
No going to boys houses unless with a group, AND only after we were very comfortable the other kids AND their parents were on the same wavelength as we were.
No weekday dating; weekend curfew by 11:30. That's the curfew in our village, and most of the villages and towns around here. So, that ment the BOY had to be home by curfew also, so our kid had to be home earlier.
My kids were on BC by 16, and also had condoms. Better safe than sorry, and the plague knows no boundries.

We talked early and often, about sex, procreation, and raising children. My kids are ADD, so talking alone didn't stick. They took babysitting classes and lifesaving classes, and began sitting ALL DAY, during the summer, from the time they were 12 till they were 16. They sat for our friends, co-workers, and the music teacher. They knew EXACTLY what taking care of an infant, and a couple wild and crazy kids entailed. I think they were actually RELIEVED when they turned 16, and could get a "mall" job!

I remember once, when we were having one of our MANY talks w/younger dd, She said, "Just so you know, if I get pregnant, I'm keeping the baby." I looked at her and said, "Who do you think is going to SUPPORT that baby? If you can't support yourself AND the baby, it's US, that's who. Who do you think is going to pay for your pregnancy and delivery? YOU are on our insurance-a grandchild is not. Who do you think is going to pay for the baby's doctor bills? If the baby is sick, that could run into the HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS. If you get pregnant, we will certainly discuss things with you, BUT the people who will be paying for, and supporting that baby, for the foreseeable future, will make the final decision about whether or not you keep the baby. Just so YOU know!" That was the end of that noise.

My kids were VERY busy, so boyfriends really weren't an issue. They had school, homework, chores, EC's and jobs. Their friends were all from their extracurriculars and their jobs; we knew the kids well, and most of their parents well, also. As I mentioned before, the parents had the same rules and expectations we did. They went out in groups; went to each other's houses in groups. Neither dd had a serious bf, or sex, till after they graduated HS. I know for sure. They both told me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-27-1999
Fri, 09-03-2010 - 8:56am

I've only got girls, but I hope the rules would be the same.

Community Leader
Registered: 06-27-2006
Fri, 09-03-2010 - 10:11am
Oh My Goodnes! I wish I had met you years ago. Your rules are strict, but fair.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2010
Fri, 09-03-2010 - 11:32am

I have a 18 year old son who is now in college and he is free to date, and he has no curfew or rules on whom he can date etc.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Fri, 09-03-2010 - 11:56am

We had a curfew, but not particular rules about houses. Both of my girls spent more time at their bf's houses and that didn't bother me, because dh, I and the younger siblings go to bed early. Dd17 didn't really have a serious bf until late her senior year of HS. Actually, she just called up and asked if we minded if her bf visited her at college and I had no problem with that. I trust her and believe it when she says she's made it clear to him that no sex will be happening.

I never set limits on seeing, but it wasn't really an issue. Both the girls had a ton of AP/Honors courses and extra curriculars. I wasn't worred at all about too much time having fun, I was worried about too little, especially for dd17. This summer, neither she nor bf had a job, but we made sure she kept busy so again, kind of self-limiting.

As far as b/c - we've had the talk many, many times. I'm sure my girls are sick to death about the safe sex talk. They're little talks, not big ones, but yeah, they happen often. With dd20, she approached us in college and said she wanted b/c and would I help. We weren't surprised given that she had been in a long-term relationship with her bf. It was very complicated due to med limitations, but we did end up getting her an IUD, which she still has. We've discussed condom use about a thousand times (as in "remember, IUDs don't prevent STDs. You need to use condoms."). I *think* she's being pretty careful. She apparently does check her string religiously, because she had it replaced once (it expelled without her knowing it) and she went in another time, and it had shifted but was fine.