Parents: It’s okay to teach your kids to be picky about who they should marry.
In fact, it is necessary!
Our program director, Karyn, has been teaching teenagers about relationships for over 15 years. What she has noticed in recent years is young people’s inability to be picky when it comes to deciding what character traits are deal breakers in potential partners.
Appreciating people’s differences is a wonderful thing! Please, keep teaching your young ones to be kind to everyone they meet…the world needs more of that! BUT, it is also okay to remind your adolescent-aged children that they aren’t marrying everyone, they are just picking one person to spend the rest of their life with. Teach them:
It is okay to assess how their values and morals line up with someone else’s. It is okay to establish future goals and to find someone supportive of them. And, it is okay to not enter into a relationship, or to end the one they’re in, if they find those things to be incongruent.
Here are a few questions you can ask your teen as you help them think through compatibility:
- Do you want someone who is a spender or saver?
- Do you care what their religious beliefs are?
- Do they want children someday?
- Where do they want to live?
- Do you care if they value time with family?
While you’re at it, consider sharing your own reasons for marrying your spouse. What made you two compatible? OR share why you were incompatible with a person you’re no longer in a relationship with. These can be such valuable conversations to have with your children!
Let’s not assume our young people know how to spot compatibility. Have these conversations now, before they make a life-long commitment! You’ll be happy you did.
P.S. We know some of these questions seem way too far in the future for most teens to consider, but it’s still important to put those questions in their heads as they think about relationships.