Uncle asked the kids if they had any boyfriends, a usual uncle thing. And Belle replied, for herself as well as siblings, "Well, my mother doesn't allow us to date until we're in college. Personally, I don't think I'll date until I'm finished with college. I have too much to do."
Now then- This makes me look as if I'm Simon Lagree, "Toys in the Attic" crazy, bundling my kids up until they live in a cave, without any socialization. Lest you think I keep them confined to the house, you should know what I actually said, Belle's mindset, and how all that applies to her reply.
- I told them they should not even think about having a baby until they have finished college, put enough money in the bank to have a cushion, had a decent place to live on their own as well as good transportation, and had a husband. I also told them that, should they get pregnant before they were 18, that our state considers the grandparents financially responsible for the infant, so should they decide to do that, we would be in charge of their child. Finally, I said I don't like teenage dating, that it did Lulubelle little good, and that I wanted it limited. I said I didn't consider a group of people, such as youth group, an actual date, and would make exceptions for such reasons as proms and banquets, where an escort was required.
- I've always told my kids, if you think in order to stop peer pressure you need to publicly blame me, go ahead. This didn't mean that Lulubelle could blame her adult life on me, by the way.
- Belle already started taking college courses, and has in fact completed a college math course online. She is excellent at Math, not merely OK or good at it, but excellent. She might start dating around sixteen, which is about when she should be in college full time.
- Belle is upset with Lulubelle's young adult behavior, making babies out-of-wedlock, of which Belle was one.