Episode 52

Published on:

27th Jul 2022

When "Should" Your Daughter Start Dating?

This is a BIG topic in the tween and teen years. 

When Can I Start Dating?

The simple answer is… It depends.

But, what does it depend on and how do you know when is good?


So many questions. Tune into this episode and get your answers so you can have a more clear understanding of when this may be a good option for your daughter and how to navigate the dating world with her.

About the Host:

Nellie Harden is a wife of 20+ years, mom to 4 teen/tween daughters, dreamer, adventurer, servant, multipreneur, forever student, and a devoted teacher, but her ride-or-die passion is her work as a Family Life Coach & Mentor. 

Coming from a career background in marine mammal sciences, behavioral work, and a host of big life experiences, both great and not some not so great, she decided that designing a life of purpose and freedom was how she and her husband, along with their 4 daughters, wanted to live. 

Her work and passions exist in the realms of family and parent mentorship because she believes that a family filled with creativity, fun, laughter, challenge, adventure, problem-solving, hugs, good food, and learning can not only change a person’s life but is the best chance at positively changing the world. 

She helps families build Self-Led Discipline™ & Leadership Into their homes, sets their children up for a wildly successful life on their terms, and elevates the family experience with big joy, palpable peace, and everyday growth!

With a lifelong passion and curiosity in thought, choice, behavior, and growth she has found incredible joy in helping families shift perspective, find answers, and a path forward.


(Nellie has been coaching families for over 10 years and has degrees in Biology, Animal Behavior and Psychology. ) 



Family Success Vault- https://www.nellieharden.com/vault

Website- https://www.nellieharden.com

Online Community- https://www.facebook.com/groups/the6570project

Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/nellieharden/   

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/nellie.harden/


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Nellie Harden:

Hello and welcome to the 6570 family project podcast. If you are a parent of a tween teen or somewhere on the way, this is exactly the place for you. This is the playground for parents who want to raise their kids with intention, strength and joy. Come and hear all the discussions, get all the tactics and have lots of laughs along the way. We will dive into the real challenges and raising kids today how to show up as parents and teach your kids how to show up as members of the family and individuals of the world. My name is Nellie Harden, big city girl turns small towns sipping iced tea on the front porch mama, who loves igniting transformation in the hearts and minds of families by helping them build selfless discipline and leadership that elevates the family experience. And sets the kids up with a rock solid foundation, they can launch their life on all before they ever leave home. This is the 6570 family project. Let's go

Nellie Harden:

Hello, everyone.

Nellie Harden:

Welcome to another episode of the 6570 family project podcast where we are putting aside the power struggles. And today we're going to talk about what could be a very big power struggle moment. But finding the path that leads or young women toward confidence, respect and wisdom in our young men to if you have sons, and prepare them for the world out there you guys. Today I'm going to talk about a really touchy subject in many people's homes. And it is when should our or your daughter start dating? Right? We have the should word in there. I always try not to should on people. And I'm not going to here. But that is a question that I've gotten many, many times as a mother of four and you know, teen tween daughters. And I get many times from parents that I mentor and coach as well. When Should my daughter start dating? Well, the quick and easy answer is it depends on them, right? It's not a matter of when so many things. And we kind of get brainwashed. And in this society sometimes of oh, well, they are this age, so so they need to be able to do this right. And there are some reasons for that in order to keep things in some sort of semblance of order, right? When they're 18, and things like that. But think about it when they turn 16 in our country anyway, in America, when you turn 16 That is when you are eligible to drive, it does not mean that when they turn 16 if they've never taken a driver's course or never done anything, then someone magically appears and gives them a key and says, Okay, you're 16 Now, so you are all good, right? No, and just like a high school diploma does not mean it's not a diploma for life readiness, right? They haven't just because they have gotten good enough grades in I don't know, shop class and band and math and English and Science and things like that does not mean that they are now life ready, right? That part happens in between all of that, right? And so and at home and the 6570. So it's something completely different. And the high school experience really just gives us the timeline, the 18 years of this is what they are until they are a quote unquote adult just gives us the timeline. The 6570 is our timeline, what we put into it is completely up to us. And in the second half of childhood. It's up to us as parents partnered with our kids as well. So here's the thing, there's no timeline on dating. And there's three things I really want you to ask yourself before you you know, get into these conversations with your kids. And these are good things to even if your child is mature enough you feel to have conversations with them about but here's, here's the thing. Number one when you have any of these conversations, stay calm, okay, I cannot implore you to stay calm enough. So here's the thing you are expecting respect and maturity out of them. Well, they need something to reflect from right so if you are yelling, if you are worked up if you are being immature, if you're being a source of mockery and all of these things then they are not going to sit there and be respectful and mature themselves. Okay? So be respectful and mature when you're having these conversations. So number the first question there is, what is the purpose of dating in your family, right? What is the entire reason that you believe that people date or in your family only in your belief system, your core beliefs, your core values, what is the purpose of dating? And then asking them, okay, so if that is the purpose, fill in the blank, whatever that is, right? And then is that a good enough reason to start dating now? Right, whatever that is. And number three, do you think you are emotionally ready? Or do you think they are emotionally ready to actually collaborate and combine with the emotional needs and wants of another human? Right? And based on that you can start to formulate Okay, yeah, they're not ready yet. There might be close to ready, or Yeah, I think there might be ready, right? So I have four daughters, right. And for us, for us, High School is a must. And so we are not even cracking open a can of worms with dating and middle school, there is way too much other mental emotional stuff going on in middle school to crack open the dating jar. Okay, so high school is a must. But within High School, it will be different for all of them, because they're different people. And we've already made our share of mistakes, both as parents when we were growing up, and even in parenting, and every mistake we learn from right. And I've heard story after story, though, of young of young women who started dating for social standing, right? Or as I've heard it called before a resume, and that is so painful to go through and feel like you are will you give me worth will you give me worth will you give me worth okay? Or they do it for fun? Or which I still think is just a cover word for they're doing it for that building that resume and finding that worth right? Are they're doing it for experience, right? They I want to have experience with these trials, so to speak, so that when I find the real deal, I will know what I'm doing. And of course, what are they talking about? They're they're talking about the physical realm of a romantic relationship, of course, right? They're not talking about the interconnected conversations, communications and all of that, because that is going to be different for everybody. What they don't understand is that everything is different with everybody, right? And it is rare that they are ever going to these people that they're with in middle school in high school, it is rare, it's not as rare as it used to be, thanks to social media, but it is rare that they're actually going to keep any sort of relationship with any of these people, you know, long term in life, right. And something to always keep in mind is that for a woman, it's just different women's nature is acceptance, right acceptance, men's nature is giving giving, giving women's nature is acceptance in every way we are, we are mentally fit that way we are emotionally fit that way we are even physically fit that way. We are acceptors, right. And so once their heart goes out to a first love, or a first crush all of these things, but especially that first love, right, it is going to stay a part of them for the rest of their life. It is like a tattoo, it is like something tattooed on their heart and a piece of them is left with that person, which means that they cannot fully give 100% of themselves to their future spouse, because a part of them is always going to be left behind. Okay. And so I want to go through five things that you can do in this decision process, this collaborative decision process second half of childhood, you're working with them right you're still the team captains you are still in authority, but you are working with them, the more you just are the dictatorial you know, type of person, you can do this, you can't do this rebellion is on the other side of that coin, and it is coming fast. Right? So working with them. But number one, the very best thing that you can do is make sure that all five of their needs are being fulfilled right now at home, okay, and if there's room to grow in each, any of these then start to grow there. Right? So they need to be seen. They need to be heard. They need to know they're loved. They need to know that they belong somewhere and that they have a purpose. Honestly, hands down. If all five of these are being met at home, then you will knock out over half the reason why they feel like they quote unquote need to start dating, even without knowing a person that they want to date. Right? They just, they hear about it. They see it in the movies, they all of these things. So many of the teen dramas right now are teen dramas. But ironically being played by people in their 20s and 30s, that are pretending like they're 14 1516 1718. Right. And that's always a good point to bring up when they're watching these teen dramas and looking up the the,

Nellie Harden:

the actor or actress and being like, oh, that person's actually 23, that person is actually 25, that person is actually 29. I know they're playing a 16 year old, but they're 29 years old, actually. So it can frame it a little bit better. But I am not saying I am not a fool. And I know and I've experienced myself during these my own teen and tween years to that you're starting to look outside of the home that's part of growing up, right, you have given them that safety, you've given them those physiological needs, you have given them love and belonging and seen and heard them and showed them different things to do and how to get there. But now they're starting to look outside of the home. So but my point is, if they don't have it from home, especially, then they're going to go look for their worth somewhere else. Because all of those things add up to worth a scene heard love belonging purpose, they all add up to worth. And so if you want them looking for worth somewhere else, they are going to find it, whether it is real, or whether it is not, whether it is destructive, whether it is constructive, they're going to go find it out there. So the best thing that you can do at home, is give them those five things that they need. Okay, so that's number one, hands down, no question. Number two, you really want to sit back observe, have conversations and assess their maturity levels? Where are they with respect to themselves with respect to others with respect to you? Where are they in their? Where are they in their wisdom? Do they really know themselves in? And do they know, which is a lifelong process to truly master? I don't know if anyone masters it until they're on their deathbed, hopefully in their 80s 90s, hundreds, whatever. But age appropriately? Do they understand who they are? Do they understand their emotions? Do they understand? When they are getting into a dangerous situation? How to veer out of that both in their heads and in the physical world? Right. I practical wisdom, wisdom, talking with somebody else understanding what their needs are? Right, all of those things, the interpersonal wisdom and the personal wisdom? And do they have confidence? And I'm not talking about going and throwing on something little and going out to a party? or what have you talking about real confidence from the inside out? Do? Are they seeking worth out there? Or are they walking in and saying, You know what I have, I'm a great person, I can't wait to be able to, you know, help the world in some way help you in some way? How is their confidence level living inside out or outside in? Right? So those are some things that you're going to want to sit back and really assess, observe, take some notes on if you're if you're a physical writer, person, talk with your spouse about right, what do you think about this? How do you see this? And number three, have the conversations about what they think what your daughter thinks? It means to date someone? What does that mean? What are you trying to do? What does that? What is the difference in your head between friendship and a dating relationship? What is the delineation there, right? What's the difference? And what does that look like? Let her know what boundaries you have. And let her share with you what boundaries she has, okay? In this relationship or possible relationship, she might be coming to you with someone that she has in mind, or no one in mind. And she's just like, Is this even a possibility for me later on or now? Number four, be open and honest about the relationship. I cannot emphasize this enough. Be open and honest about the relationship, both coming from you as a parent and what you're seeing in your concerns and your boundaries, and also them as a child, opening the door so that they can be open and honest to and what do I mean by that? Well, if they come home, and they're like, Well, I don't know, let's say Eric is the boyfriend's name. And they're like, you know, Eric said something to me today. That was kind of rude and it hurt my feelings. And all of a sudden Mama Bear and Papa Bear COME OUT. And they're like, oh, we need to get rid of him. He's terrible. You don't want this and and, and she's like, whoa, whoa, I just was telling you about something that hurt my feelings a little bit. That's not where I was going. And then all of a sudden you have a huge chip on your shoulder every time Eric comes around, right? So no, you want to give them a space that they can be open and honest with you about what is going on in their relationship. ship without you having these holding a grudge, chip on your shoulder type things. And you want to get to know these people, it is not only your your privilege to get to know someone that your daughter is having a relationship with, it is your responsibility to get to know them as well. Your daughter is still a child in this 6570 It is your responsibility to make sure that your child is physically emotionally and mentally Okay, and going in a progressive positive direction. And that means knowing who they're spending time with. So you want to get to know them. And anytime a relationship is kept a secret, or that person is not coming around, those are huge, huge, huge red flags to keep in mind. So that means that something is happening, that shouldn't someone is feeling something that is uneasy or not going well, someone's being manipulated, someone is doing something that that's against their value system, but they don't want to say it. All of these different things, right? Big, big, big red flags. And number five,

Nellie Harden:

hold the rope. Right, we talked about this rope and the 6570, where your child is out in the boat right there, you're standing on shore holding one end of the rope, they're in a boat. And they're holding the other side of the rope. And they're learning learning. Pun intended, they're learning the ropes of life, right. And sometimes you gotta let a little bit go, you got to see what happens. You need to see if they can steer the ship and, and do the problem solving and do the critical thinking and know what to do, right. And then when something happens, you pull it in a little bit. You reassess you guide you teach, and then you can send them let that rope out a little bit again, right? Sometimes you hold it in for a while sometimes. And then you let it go again for a little bit. Right? So dating is complicated, right? And what's even more complicated is every family has a different idea about of why, like what is the purpose of dating, I've talked to some families that are like, Oh, the purpose of dating is just because that's what you do in high school. And it's super fun, right? You go have the fun experience. But the fun experience isn't always fun for everyone, especially if you have different personality kids. And maybe they're a little bit more introverted and shy, but they feel like they should be out there dating. And so there's a bunch of pressure on that. There is a lot of pressure in dating online, right? There is a huge amount of dating in media of all kinds. It's super fun, if you're dating, if you're not dating, you're not having fun, right is the message that they keep hearing. And then it gets all into self identification and identity issues and all of this stuff. So there's big reasons to hold off on dating until they are at that point of maturity in their respect and their confidence in their wisdom, right? If you do it before, then it really is a recipe for some kind of disaster that is coming. And so I really implore parents to just assess, observe and see have open discussions about this. Be calm, be respectful in these conversations, don't just close doors and say nope, that's not where we're going. Or Yep, that is where you have to go. Because I've seen that before, to have a going of back and forth, it needs to be an open conversation between you and your spouse and your daughter or their other parent, whatever that is. But there needs to be this open communication about that, you guys, I the last thing I want is any young woman going out there and getting hurt because they are searching for their worth in the wrong places. Places that are going to not serve them not serve their future. And also any young woman having regrets because anything was too early, or anything like that. So do the legwork of the parent partner with them in this just like we partner with anything with them. In the second half of childhood. Have those open conversations, be inviting and calm and approachable. And just see where it goes from there depending on your family, your family values and your core beliefs that you have. Okay, you guys, I'd love to talk with you more about this. Come on in to the family architects club. That is where we have more in depth conversations more question and answers about all of this. And of course we have the after the podcast show every Thursday at 11am in the family architects club. If you have a daughter between eight and 18 You are going to want to be in there. And this is where we dive even deeper into all of these issues and topics so just go to Facebook search up family architects Club, you'll find us and get into the club you guys all right keep Teaching, keep laughing keep loving and above all, keep showing up with intention and the 6570. Lord knows during this childhood parenthood experience, they need us. And we need to be able to be there for them to help partner with them and guide them through and into adulthood. Okay, you guys, I will see you next time.

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About the Podcast

The 6570 Family Project
with Nellie Harden
If you are a parent of a tween, teen or somewhere on the way, this is exactly the place for you!
This is the playground for parents who want to raise their kids with intention, strength and joy to come and hear all the discussions, get all the tactics and have lots of laughs along the way!

We will dive into the real challenges in raising kids today and how to show up as parents AND teach your kids to show up as members of the family and individuals in the world.

My name is Nellie Harden. Big city girl turned small town, front porch, iced tea sippin’ momma who loves igniting transformation in the hearts and minds of families by helping them build Self-Led Discipline™ and Leadership to elevate the family experience and set the kids up with a rock solid foundation they can launch their life on all before they even leave home!

About your host

Profile picture for Nellie Harden

Nellie Harden