Monday, 18 May 2015

When Single Parents Date: A Teen’s Perspective

Its 11:30 on a Friday night and I hear the sound of the front door creak open. Yes, that should be the sound of me coming in from a late night but no, it’s the sound of my mother coming home. My mom seems to have more of a love life than I do, as a 17-year old, so Friday night is date night. When I tell my friends about my mom and how she is dating they always assume that it is the worst thing to experience. Honestly, it doesn’t bother me as much as people think it would. It’s nice to sit down at dinner and hear about her new guy drama instead of dull work stories. I love the moments where we can sit down the next day from a night when we both had dates and compare. I also love that we are kind of going through the same thing and that she relates to me as much as I relate to her… when it comes to guys, at least. Her dating definitely doesn’t change the fact that we argue about my grades or my never ending plans for the weekends. Since she has started to go back into the “dating game” we’ve became a lot closer. I see her not only as my mother but as my best friend too. I feel like I can tell her anything now and when something exciting happens to me she became the first person I want to tell instead of my friends.
Don’t get me wrong; her dating does get annoying from time to time. Sometimes it feels like she doesn’t have as much time for my brother and I. It is really antagonizing when she will leave for a date right before dinnertime and tell me I am responsible for dinner that night. It is also really irritating when I look over at her in the middle of me talking and I see her texting and grinning not paying attention to one word I am saying. I don’t know too much about what it’s like for a single parent to date, but one thing I know is how the teenager is going to feel about their parent’s decision. The kids should always still be the first priority when dating comes into the mix. Teenage years can be considered the most crucial in a person’s life so an abandoning parent can cause extra problems and issues in a teen’s life. A parent’s support is the one thing that can keep a teen going through all of the high school drama and pressure. Also, it isn’t good to introduce every person the parent dates to the child. I think that the parent should wait until they know this specific significant other is around for the long haul before introducing them to their kids. If the kids don’t like the parent’s boyfriend/girlfriend, then the parent should ALWAYS take that into consideration but it does not necessarily mean the parent needs to end it unless it is a legitimate reason as to why they aren’t a good match and why the kid doesn’t like him/her.
I put up with all of the annoying stuff my mom does when she dates because I know that she is happy. I know that I can put up with a couple inconveniences in turn for her happiness after all that she does for me. So teens, give your single parent some slack, and parents, have fun but not too much because you’re still expected to be a responsible adult because your kids’ lives are still in your hands.