Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Teaching Our Daughters How to Date & Marry

by M. J. Joachim

I watch a lot of historical drama on t.v. where I learn about loosely told tales of history throughout the world. I’m often intrigued by noble expectations that daughters should marry in or above their station in life to keep the family’s honor in tact. Raising my own daughters, it wasn’t so much about teaching them how to date and marry, along with who was a suitable match not only for them, but for the entire family. It was about keeping them safe, teaching them to choose boyfriends who were kind to them, treated them right and made them happy, without taking advantage of them.

I’m not sure any parent can teach daughters how to date and marry. I suspect we can teach them what not to do, but love has a will of its own, so attempting to teach children to pick and choose according to any sort of status in life seems a bit of a moot point. Hopefully our daughters will choose men who can carry their own weight, providing necessities for the family, just as our daughters do their part to take care of the family.

As much as roles can be different, they also very much remain the same. Dating is the pre-event, the learning phase of what one can and cannot live with “’til death do they part.” If a significant other can’t live with something while they are dating, it’s a pretty good bet they won’t like it when they have to put up with it every day.

There’s more to it, however. Inside each of us is a still, small voice telling us exactly what we need to do. It can easily be drowned out by an over anxious partner, who is just as certain with an opposing point of view. Perhaps teaching our daughters (and sons) to listen to that wee, small voice is the most important thing of all, rather than telling them or expecting them to somehow flounder about, testing waters that may or may not nourish their lives, providing fulfillment in good times and bad, regardless of the outcome of their individual dating experiences.

As parents, we can only do our best when it comes to our children. We can only love them more than we believe it is possible to love another human being, and we can only do our best to keep them safe. One day when we least expect it, they end up out there in that great big world, making choices for themselves. Sometimes we agree with those choices. Sometimes we don’t. And sometimes we don’t even know they had choices to make,let alone made them without any input from us.

Hopefully teaching them to listen to that small voice within them will make a difference. It’s not up to us to make their choices. Hopefully, we will give them everything they need to make the best choices, capable of keeping them happy and positive, even when life is hard and things are uncertain. For if there’s one thing we’ve learned as parents, it’s that life is hard and full of uncertainty at times, which is why it’s so nice to share it with a person who cares about us, as much as we should rightfully care about ourselves.

Thanks for visiting Effectively Human today. I always appreciate it when you stop by.

M. J.

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