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The Dating Curriculum

By Persephone S. Parker

Remember, in the movie Sound of Music, Liesl sings, "Totally unprepared am I, to face a world of men." Yikes, was she ever! Rolf became a Nazi. How does a mother navigate that one? And to think he told Liesl:

You need someone older and wiser
Telling you what to do
I am seventeen going on eighteen
I'll take care of you.
Maybe you're not as well equipped as Maria to tell your daughter everything you wish you knew (and probably still don't know) about dating. But Rolf, goddess bless him, got one thing right in a back-handed way—your daughter does need someone older and wiser, telling her what to do. AND THAT PERSON SHOULD BE YOU, MOM! In the 21st century, your daughter has more to worry about than her love interest possibly morphing into a Nazi after romancing her in the hot rain.

There are self-esteem issues, body-image issues, sexuality issues, and self-respect issues. By not having the right information before entering the combat zone of heterosexual dating, your daughter could find herself doubting herself, dumbing down to attract men, dieting (first three letters of diet spell "die"), and over-loathing. In sum, you might catch her doing reactionary, life-threatening, unoriginal, and stupid things in the name of dating. This is not what you, as a mother, want. You don't want your wrinkles and gray hairs caused by your daughter's dating traumas.

If self-help were a religion, perhaps I would be anointed its high priestess. (In real life though, I'm no priestess. Not even close.) I really do believe there is information out there that is holy, that if prayerfully read and digested, can spare us from sinning against ourselves, and having our souls aborted (the ultimate sin).

So, once your daughter hits, say 12, or 13, or whatever the age is of asking (begging, cajoling, wheedling, and emotionally blackmailing) your permission to go on a date, tell her, "Honey, you bet I'll let you date all you want, but before you do so, you've got to finish your homework. And have I got one heck of a curriculum for you to get through!" She'll whine, as girls are prone to do. And you can retort, "Be grateful I won't make you turn in book reports and then grade you on them, young lady."

What girl couldn't use a little less pain? With periods, braces, acne, eating disorders, popularity contests, and raging hormones, I think most girls would appreciate a little less pain. And given that girls spend too many woman-hours overanalyzing guys, this'll free up some of that never-to-return adolescent energy and unclutter that girlie head-space. This means more energy and creativity to channel towards what matters. This means more attention to helping Mom and Dad around the house, or actually conversing lovingly with grand-mum and grand-dadums when they come to visit - which are tremendously worthy causes.

Just think, if your daughter does her "homework," she may save herself thousands of dollars on therapy sessions, diet pills, and dating/matchmaking services. She won't waste her analytical skills overanalyzing why guys are they way they are, or why relationships suck. Because if she does her homework, the guys she attracts will be different. And her relationships won't suck, because she will have acquired enough knowledge to know that silly rules like, well "The Rules" or pretending that guys and gals are from different planets hardly leads to joyous couplings, nor does it catalyze that thermonuclear reaction that needs to take place when men and women are truly in their element and savoring each other as people.

The purpose of my e-book "The Dating Curriculum" is to make it much more likely that your daughter will have her pick of guys that are kind, smart, fun, talented, charismatic, respectful, intelligent, spicy, and egalitarian. Your daughter will learn about what other women now know, but wish they knew at her age. Let their hindsight (and mine) be the foresight that serves, saves, and delights her.

Now that I've told you what this book's goals are, let me tell you what this book is NOT intended to be. It's not intended to be a substitute for your signature style of parenting, mentoring, and guiding your daughter. It's also NOT a proxy for good psychiatric and medical care, should your ever daughter require it.

Now, get some green tea or some other non-alcoholic beverage of choice that you delight in slurping. It's time to turn on your computer and approve of this curriculum before you subject your daughter to its tremendous benefits.

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