When your not-quite-4-year-old says he has a date

Much planning goes into a first date, even if you're only 3 and your date is imaginary.

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  • Having kids means that eventually your kids will go on dates with someone else's kids. But, something tells me 3 years old is much too soon.

  • Three, almost 4-years-old, Spencer decides his time to date is now. It seems he has it all planned out. Answering questions from his mom, we find out that Spencer is going out with a "girl husband" named Christina from Salt Lake City (though video description states that Christina is not real).

  • Spencer has a bag filled with toys to show Christina. Also on the agenda is talking and drinking water. Of course, he has to drive on the date to which his mom responds that it's impossible for him to drive. Spencer has a solution though — an "auto car."

  • To prepare for the date, young Spencer has added some cologne to his hair. He promises his mom that he won't leave her and that he loves Christina the same as his mother.

  • When you and your child decide it's time to start dating — hopefully closer to mid-teenage years than toddler years — it's important to discuss how dating works. Things to talk about before the date are:

    • Method of transportation and how much that will cost — gas money, taxi or bus fare, etc.

    • Where are you going? Dinner and a movie? Picnic in the park? Are reservations needed, and how much will it all cost?

    • Appropriate attire for a date adapted for planned activities.

    • Discuss what kind of touching is OK and what is not. Holding hands, kissing, hugging and other types of touching have boundaries. Set limits of appropriateness. Teach your children how to respect their date's personal space as well.

    • Personal hygiene is key. Brushing teeth, showering, using deodorant and balancing the use of cologne or perfume so as not to overwhelm the date is important.

    • Curfews are necessary. Set a time for your son or daughter to be home and make sure they plan to respect their date's curfew as well.

  • Navigating young dating can be difficult, which is why parental guidance is necessary. Make sure your children know family rules and what to do if a problem arises. Dating is a fun and healthy activity especially when there are set guidelines to follow and expectations to live up to. Make sure your child is old enough — physically and mentally — before you allow them to set out on their first date.

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Wendy is a regular contributor for familyshare.com and does media reviews. Website: https://survivorshopeandhealing.wordpress.com/ for victims of sexual abuse. Blog: https://wendyejessen.wordpress.com Twitter: @WendyJessen

Website: https://survivorshopeandhealing.wordpress.com/

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