I and M were having a conversation and I have been thinking about a specific issue that we discussed.
M thinks it’s wrong to date at 15. There’s a time for everything in life.
Her logic is that kids are not mature enough at that age and the relationship is a result of attraction, not love. And if it doesn’t work out, it’s a very sensitive age and can have a deep impact on their life. She thinks that kids who are not happy in their family get involved in relationships at an earlier age (~15). So her solution was that make sure that they are involved in things that they are interested in (hobbies, academics, or other stuff) so that they don’t seek happiness from romantic relationships. And also get them involved in religion so that they are scared of doing morally wrong things (given her belief that it’s wrong to date at 15).
Since then I have been thinking, are people really that immature at 15? From my personal experience, I started dating when I was 15 – and yes, I was immature to think I was in love with the guy and didn’t realize some abusive aspects of the relationship. But I was also mature enough to know that my first priority was my career, that I didn’t want to get married till I was old enough, and that I didn’t want to have sex with him because I wasn’t comfortable with it. I did face heartbreak and emotionally tough times, but I had close friends and sisters for support and those experiences also made me stronger.
I had friends who started dating at that age (+/-2 years) and some who didn’t. I had friends who had sex with their boyfriends at ~15 (+/-2) – some of them ended up getting married to the same guys years later, while some other relationships didn’t last. At that point in life, I thought it was wrong to have sex before marriage, so I didn’t do that. But I was also open to accepting other people’s right to lead their lives the way they want.
I agree with the idea of getting kids involved in multiple activities to identify what they enjoy and like and let them do what makes them happy. But I don’t think that it should be done to avoid romantic relationships. People start dating at ~15 because they feel attracted to each other and one of the big reasons is hormones. And I think it’s alright. I think parents need to be more open and accepting so that kids can actually share their feelings, emotions, and fears with them. Also, considering that there is a difference of ~30 years between parents and kids, their ideas and opinions about relationships and sex will be very different, which makes it all the more important to be open minded about these issues!
I definitely do not agree with the idea of using religion to instil fear in kids that what they’re doing is wrong. First, getting attracted to someone is not wrong. Second, if they think it’s morally wrong and fear it, they will not feel comfortable sharing it with their friends/ parents. I think it’s very important to provide a safe support zone to your kids where they can reach out to you even if they have terribly messed up!
So what do you think?
What is the right age to be in a relationship and/or to have sex?
Is it wrong/immoral to date at ~15?
Is it alright to have one standard of morality for everyone?
P.S. I should mention here that I’m a single 27 year old with no experience in parenting! :p
This is Post 4 of Blogathon – Jan 2014
Post 1 – Happy New Year with Resolutions 🙂
Post 2 – 2013 – The year that was!
Post 3 – Because I love Sunsets!