Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 06-13-2018

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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2 AT HOME / ENTERTAINMENT JUNE 13-19, 2018 | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER LIVING EDITION Teen dating requires an ounce of prevention Q: Our 15-year-old daughter has told us she's in love with a 20-year- old guy who is in the Army and intending to make the Army his career. We've met him, and he is extremely respectful and well-man- nered, and has told us he's in love with her. We've made it clear to both of them that for the time being at least, they may meet in our home, when we are home, and nowhere else. He is fine with that, he says, and seems sincere. Our daughter, however, is not fine with that. She wants the freedom to see him whenever and wherever. She says we don't trust her, which is only half-true. Even though he says he doesn't want physical intimacy until he's married, we know from personal experience how easy it is for young people to get carried away. Her emotionality over this (along with the fact that we actually like him) is causing us to think that per- haps we should allow some meetings away from our home. What are your thoughts? A: I don't have thoughts about this issue; having a daughter who was once a teenager, I have but one thought: NO! Full disclosure: I am very old- fashioned about most things male and female. I do not think teens should be allowed to date until both are 16, for example. Why 16? I have no defen- sible reason, actually. Sixteen just seems like a good, albeit admittedly arbitrary, number. Furthermore, if I was doing the dad thing today, any male courting my daughter would first have to come to our home sev- eral times where they could watch television together or something equally exciting (not to mention he would be required to have a long and rather purposefully intimidating conversation with me about mat- ters of life and death) before he'd be allowed to see my daughter without adult supervision. Then I'd set, at least initially, a curfew of 10 p.m. on non-school nights. There would be no curfew on school nights because they wouldn't be seeing one another on school nights. And so on. In short, I would be "Daddy De Infierno," and proud of it. It's one thing when both parties are about the same age; it's quite another when one is a dependent child (who has not reached the age of consent) and the other is an adult. The fact that he intends to make the Army a career is certainly in his favor, but it can also be used to everyone's advan- tage. Specifically, you might consider mentioning to your daughter's suitor that if he initiates or participates in any problem behavior with her – or you even think he has done so – that you will make a visit to his command- ing officer. That should virtually guar- antee good behavior, assuming he is truly serious about making a career of military service. Having said all that, I've known or known of a good number of older married folks who began dating when one was a young adult and the other a minor. In and of itself, the situation is not a recipe for certain disaster, although it often ends up that way. And by the way, based on the con- versations I've had with these folks, I'm reasonably sure they would agree with the safeguards I recommend. These days, when I have the oppor- tunity to advise a young woman con- cerning marriage, I always advise that she marry a somewhat older guy who is verifiably responsible, mature, and is not living with his parents (or in digs they have provided). Since that describes the fellow in question, I'd be inclined to restrict but not stand in the way of a relationship. Need I say I believe in the old "ounce of prevention"? Family psychologist John Rosemond: johnrosemond.com, parentguru.com. Traditional Parenting JOHN ROSEMOND Burrillville Family Fun Fair is Saturday BURRILLVILLE – The 27th anniversary Burrillville Family Fun Fair will be held on Saturday, June 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Stillwater Mill Center, adjacent to the Jesse Smith Library. The Burrillville Parks & Recreation Department is working in collaboration with the Burrillville Farmers Market and Jesse Smith Library for this year's event. The Farmers Market will be offer- ing its goods and hosting musical entertainment provided by After Market Parts. Children will have the opportunity to make their own plantings at the market. The Family Fair will offer kids' games, class demonstrations, food, free giveaways, raffles and informa- tional booths. New this year is the addition of the Animal Affair Traveling Petting Zoo, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and Marshall from "Paw Patrol" will make an appearance from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Boxes of macaroni and cheese will be collected for the Burrillville Weekend Snack Pack Program. For every box donated you will receive a free raffle ticket. The Child Identification Program, organized by the Freemasons, will take place inside the Jesse Smith Library. The rain date is June 23. Call 401- 568-9470 or visit www.burrillville. org .

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