This weekend was Homecoming for one of our local high schools. It spurred a lot of Facebook discussions and photos.
One question was particularly interesting to me. My friend commented on the various styles of dresses the girls were wearing this season. All comments aside, she asked a very interesting question.
As parents we try to guide our sons and daughters in behaviors and dress and so on. We agree pretty much on our girls as far as they won't be wearing a dress I don't approve of simply because I'm buying the dang thing and as the mom I have the last say on what she will look like when she leaves the house.
Here's the question and the following discussion in our house last night with our high school and middle school boys.
She asked, what do I do when my teenage son's date shows up to the door in some outfit or dress that I feel is completely inappropriate.
Great question, isn't it?
It definitely opened conversation in our house between The Mr. and I, the high school boy, the middle school boy and the college girl.
At first we had lots of joking around about which male in the house would wolf whistle or cheer, who would high five the other and so on. Then it turned to what kind of horrified face the person opening the door could make. Then we diverged into the various cuss mouth phrases that happen in our house. Finally we came down to a bowl and a sign.
We've all been to the Dr. or hospital and seen the signs on the wall about your pain level. The smiley face at a 1 level and the horror face at level 10. We thought it would be great to make a similar sign in relation to the level of appropriateness of attire. Along with the sign we would hand out a number of condoms from a special box or bowl.
So for example, your date arrives wearing a nice, normal, tasteful outfit and gives all appearances of being someone who won't be stripping down in the back seat, she will receive a 1 rating on the chart and just a single complimentary condom, in case minds and morals are suddenly lost in a moment of insanity. On the other hand, if she arrives looking like she just stepped off a street corner in Vegas and has the attitude to go with it, we will probably just hand her the bowl or box and be impressed that she has scored off the chart!
At this point in the night college girl, The Mr. and I are laughing pretty hard. Middle school man is dying of embarrassment and high school man is getting worried. He is pleading with us not to be those parents (way too late for that, we've been those parents since his birth) and begging us not to actually do this.
This is where sarcasm being my second language, or maybe my first, gets the better of me.
I start teasing the boys.
Come on, I say, it's not like we are putting up a poster with visuals about the sizes and styles of the various condoms available! It's not like I'll make up a poster with my own commentary on the sizes and styles and how much your girl may or may not like them.
They calm down a little.
Then I start thinking out loud.
Hey, remember how grandma can do that great calligraphy, I ask, maybe I could call her and ask her to make the poster!
Oddly, they were not nearly as amused as I was. They lack humor, these sons of mine.
On a serious note, we did and do talk to all the kids regularly about life and the rules we would like them to follow.
We are not perfect, as parents or as people. We are Christian and that influences our rule making. We are also not naive and quite realistic. We try to keep it pretty simple.
The four rules are: (1) No drugs, (2) No drinking, (3) No porn, (4) No sex before marriage.
The caveat to the rules is if or when you break a rule, own it. Call home for a ride or help. Don't lie about. Make your choices and decisions with your eyes wide open and fully aware of all the potential consequences of your choice and own it. Don't act all surprised and shocked and appalled when the potential outcomes happen. You knew when you decided. Live with it and do your best with it and in it.
I'm curious though, what do you think you will do when your son's date comes to the door dressed as a Vegas hooker. Meet me in the comments!