Dates With A Ten Year Old

I haven’t been as good with this as in the distant past, but have been wanting to do it more recently. The idea is to treat each of my daughters to a “date” to show them what to expect from guys who date them in the future and to spend some one-on-one time with them to get to know them better. It’s a bit intimidating because my expectations are a bit high and after a long work-week I’m pretty worn out.

How do you date a ten-year-old? I have a few plans based on her interests. For example, take her on a photography walk at dawn after stopping to get some donuts. What about my other two daughters? There’s glow-n-putt … bowling. Hmmm the bowling alleys strike up memories of thick smoke and cursing old men, but they should have a family night that would omit both of these nasties.

A friend on facebook asked what constitutes a date to a guy. In her case a boyfriend asked her over to his place to watch some TV. This means one of two things to a guy: either he’s really wanting to hang out with her or he’s trying to put her in a compromising situation. She’s right to be offended if he implies this invitation is a date. It means he offers low standards to her.

How to plan a date:
1. Know her interests.
2. Plan a place and a time.
3. Give her anticipation.

Don’t get mad or irritated on a date – ever! Even if the waitress throws a plate at you and you see cockroaches crawling on the kitchen floor. Just politely excuse yourself. If the lady looks embarrassed then explain to her that she doesn’t deserve to eat at a restaurant where the business doesn’t give her respect.. that she deserves better. Apologize to her, and take her someplace else. It’s best to scout out the place first, then you won’t be in an embarrassing situation of paying a bill for food you won’t eat… but don’t even sweat it. She’ll associate your frustration with her, not the restaurant.

As my girls get more sophisticated, I’ll deliberately go into these situations to show them how a man should behave.

At a dinner talk my wife introduced the question “What shows more character: the way a person acts while being watched by others or the way a person acts when not seen by anyone?” My answer was “Neither. A person’s character is best seen when put in a nasty situation. The uglier situations are the most revealing.”

When my wife and I dated, I would take her up to the restaurant, glance around, check out the menu, check out the bathroom (people who cook your food spend time there and if it lacks soap, they didn’t wash) then on occasion, leave. She would get very upset. It was in her head that if you parked in the lot of a restaurant, a hidden obligation was set that you had to eat there. To alleviate her embarrassment, I would ask her to stay in the car and relax while I checked the restaurant out. After explaining to her that I wanted to show her a good time, and wrenching for days after going to a bad restaurant does not equate to a good time, she agreed to this solution.

It’s things like having the man think about and look out for them, showing responsibility and initiative, that my girls are being taught to look for…

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