I know the title sounds absurd, but my husband and I think it is important for our daughters to start dating early! We feel that 8 is the appropriate age to start going on dates. Dinner, movies, bowling, it is really her choice! She gets to pick out the special outfit and do her hair. Sometimes I even will put a little eye makeup on her (pretty much invisible)! She really enjoys getting all dolled up to go out.
She gets very excited when there is a knock at the door, she opens it standing there is her dad!
No, we do not have boys showing up at our door picking her up to go out for a night on the town. No, we do not take her to meet a boy for dinner and a movie. Her dates are with her dad! These dates are very special, and are taken seriously. It is important to show little girls how they should be treated by a man (once they are old enough to date, of course). We want our daughters to accept nothing but the best! We want them to be strong and demand respect, but be loving and give respect as well.
When my husband takes my stepdaughter out on a date he opens doors for her, holds her hand, lets her choose where they eat or go, pulls out her chair, pays for her meal, compliments her, and lets her do most of the talking! I can tell you that this not only helps boost her confidence, but it also helps with the feelings of jealousy towards our toddler and unborn baby.
We are teaching our girls this is by example. My husband and I make it a point to be respectful and loving in front of the kids, even grossing out my stepdaughter sometimes! She is still at the age where boys are gross, and she says she is NEVER dating anyone but her dad. We do not fight in front of our kids, and we speak highly of each other always. We were both raised in somewhat dysfunctional families and want different for our kids. We feel it is our job to show our girls what love looks and respect looks like.
These dates are important and will be a tradition with my younger daughter and new baby if it is a girl. My husband enjoys taking her out, and it is a win-win for all!
The Scrambling Stepmom