Goodness Guru: How teenage boys and teenage girls see dances
Some of you may be raising teenagers. If you are, you know there is a definite difference between teenage boys and teenage girls.
This past weekend, my daughter was driving her teenagers home from a regional dance. This is a regional dance attended by youth from different high schools. Both of the kids had to meet new people at this event. The names have been changed to protect the guilty.
Here is my daughter’s take on the conversation that took place on the ride home that evening:
Mom (my daughter): So how was it?
Abbie: I danced with Lance and Will and Conrad, and Lance was from North and the other two were from Forrest High.
Mom: Jeff, did you dance with anyone?
Jeff: Yeah I danced with a couple girls. (By the way, Jeff is a straight-A student.)
Abbie: You danced with eight. (Abbie is a straight-A student too; obviously.)
Abbie: He danced with Lexie.
Mom: Jeff, did you dance with a Lexie?
Jeff: Hmm, I don’t think so.
Abbie: Yes you did. I saw you.
Abbie: Did one of them have brown hair?
Jeff: Um, maybe?
Abbie: Was one of them like a little shorter than me?
Jeff: Uh, I don’t know.
Mom: Where were they from, Jeff?
Jeff: Not sure.
When I read this to my husband he laughed out loud stating emphatically, “That is exactly what it is like for a teenage boy to attend the same dance his little sister is attending!” — an activity he did often with two younger sisters.
Although our granddaughter just had a fun time with no concerns at this dance, sometimes young women aren’t as happy-go-lucky about it.
So maybe your young daughter comes home distraught because she took two hours getting ready for a dance, and she danced maybe three times, and she asked the boy one of those times, and now she’s worried that she was too forward, or that he doesn’t remember her name or maybe he likes her and now what? If this happens, you can counsel her that you’re sure everything went perfectly and that everything will work out perfectly. Because in your heart, you know that the young men won’t remember if they danced with your daughter, let alone remember her name or where she is from. You also don’t have to worry about them making inappropriate moves on your daughter.
On the other hand, next time the kids attend a dance, you can tell your son to comb his hair before he goes into the dance. Then you may counsel him to remember the names of the girls he dances with. It will make them feel special. He doesn’t have to start dating them. He can just treat them kindly and have a good time.
Oh the joys of raising teenagers. I’m glad it’s someone else’s turn, but I miss it a little. It seems that I blinked and my kids were adults raising kids of their own. Now I get to hear it from my daughter’s perspective — the conversation you have when driving your teenagers home from a dance.