The polygamist Sister Wives’ Brown family seem accepting and laid back, but they do have strong religious beliefs (click here to learn more about that.) With so many kids in the teenage age range, dating is kind of a big issue. The Duggar family is another family with focused religious beliefs and lots of teens, and their rules for dating (or, as they call it, courtship) are pretty strict. Hand-holding is prohibited until engagement, and full on-kissing and full frontal hugs are to be avoided at all costs until marriage. Of course, the Duggars make it clear that they are letting the children decide to make these choices for themselves.
The Browns seem a little less strict, but they still have certain expectations for their kids’ dating behavior. Kody did not kiss three of his wives until marriage, which was why it became a big deal when it was learned that he kissed his first wife Robyn while they were engaged. In the new season, which premieres June 8th 8/9c the Browns deal with Christine’s daughter Mykelti dating her boyfriend John. A few years ago, when the Browns settled in Las Vegas, they sat down with the older kids to set some rules. “We want to be involved in your decisions with your dating, and your decisions with who you associate with, and your decisions about your friends” Kody told his kids.
“I don’t want our kids having romantic relationships in high school. You should not be sexual until you had graduated from high school, ever. And I would prefer that you wait until you are married. I am not going to put a prohibition on physical contact, although I’m going to tell you it is very unwise. A kiss is a token of commitment.” The kids obviously had a lot to say about what their parents were saying, and it quickly escalated into confusion. One of their points was that Robin often talked about all the boys she dated in high school. Robin addressed this in their book Becoming Sister Wives, “I think opening the lines of communication about our children is important to our growth as a family. We have a lot of kids who are all going through different stages in life. It’s essential to stay on top of their development and difficulties. Since my children are the youngest of our brood, I haven’t yet had to deal with the question of teen dating. However, I will happily give my input as to what I think is appropriate so that we can set some family ground rules and our kids will be on the same page as to what is allowed. I have life experiences that I can share with the kids to help them make informed decisions and I don’t mind doing so. Nevertheless, I feel that it is ultimately up to Kody and the other moms to enforce the rules for their specific children.”
At the time of the sneak preview for the new season that aired in the middle of My Five Wives‘ season finale, Mykelti had been seeing John for a month, and according to Christine, she was spending “all of her time with him.” Kody decided it was time to have a little chat with John and Mykelti. “I am well aware of how the heart works at 17 versus at 25, and what we want to prevent, as parents, is the danger zones. Kissing, holding hands, that all leads to broken hearts, and if you get too physical, the nature of it is that you’re going to break up.”
“When you kiss, hormones go into your mouth that will stimulate both the heart and the body for other reasons, okay?” Kody explains. “The Apostle Paul says ‘Don’t go and sow your wild oats and defraud your brother.'” He asks John what that arguably confusing bible passage means. Kody’s face falls when John replies “Don’t go for it until you make sure that everyone’s ok with you going for it.
“Chemical reactions happen when your bodies touch each other, even when it’s right here,” Kody says while he holds Christine’s hand. “I love my daughter, and a broken heart for her would be devastating to me. I’m just looking at them and I’m saying ‘If you can be wife, if you can be that person that can be that wise, you can prevent yourself from having a broken heart.'” The Duggars are also often talking about “protecting the heart” by minimizing physical contact.
What do you think? Is not kissing or holding hands a sure way to prevent broken hearts?