I was talking to my sister just before Christmas. She told me she'd been at party and was talking someone about parenting teens. His youngest is 22yrs old, so he spoke with some wisdom and experience. One of the things he told my sister, is that when his kids discovered the wonderful, crazy feelings members of the opposite sex could spark in the heart, he offered them $100 if they didn't kiss anyone before they turned 16. My daughter, SWEETHEART who is 15yrs old, overheard this conversation and blurted, "Hey, I'd have done that! If I don't kiss anyone for the next year will you give me $100?"
I've had several conversations with my kids about kissing and touching and all that other stuff they will save for marriage. One of my favorite "discussions" is about -closed mouth kisses-. (Some time I'll have to "discuss" it here, but not today) So, knowing that she had already crossed the kissing line I offered her $75. She negotiated for $85. The next time she hung out with her group of friends (and her "kissing friend") I asked her how it went and whether our deal was still in place.
She told me the following story:
"I told Kaid that we couldn't kiss anymore. He said that $85 was pocket change. I asked him if I kissed him if he would give me $85. He said, "No." So I didn't kiss him. But mom it's really hard! You should give me $200."
Ya, I know...maybe I should...I know once you've crossed a line it's harder to go back...It was a great opportunity to talk about physical intimacy and those boundaries the Lord has set and how easily the adversary can push us across them and the struggle that repentance is and how difficult it can be to stay back the next time. It is better not to cross or get close to them in the first place.
Somewhere there is the happy medium of freedom and control. Parenting teens is certainly a tedious exercise in finding the right balance between the two.