Dear Dr. Wallace:
We have two children, a 17-year-old son and a 16-year-old daughter. Our daughter is interested in boys and has been for over two years. Our son shows no interest in girls.
All he wants to do in his spare time is to work on the 1989 Chevrolet that we bought him for his birthday. I do everything possible to try to interest him in dating, but nothing has worked.
My husband and I are starting to worry that he might have a “problem.” Please give me your thoughts on this. Our son is a bright young man, but the time should have come when he shows some interest in girls. I was 18 and my husband, 19, when we were married and we went together for over three years before we decided to marry.
— Mother, Naperville, Ill.
Dear Mother: Did it ever occur to you that maybe he is working feverishly on his Chevy so that he can attract the girls, and then when the time comes for a date he will have his own “wheels”?
I’d advise you to relax and allow your son to mature socially in his own time. There’s nothing you can do to “encourage” him, except make him angry and delay the process.
Please read the following letter from a mother. It will make you feel much better.
Dear Dr. Wallace: I’m responding to the girl who wrote that her 16-year-old brother hadn’t started dating yet and their family was getting worried.
I am the mother of 10 children. My oldest was a boy who showed absolutely no interest in girls.
All he was interested in was making model airplanes and helping his father with the horses and cows.
On the day he graduated from high school (he was 18), he had never been on a date and never showed an interest in going out with a girl. He entered an agricultural college and stayed at school during the week and came home every weekend. He was the type of guy you could set your watch by. We always knew he would arrive home on Friday in time for dinner at six, and leave by seven on Sunday to return to school.
Then something odd happened after he was in college for five months. Zack didn’t come home one weekend. We were worried to death and decided to drive over to the college to find out what happened. My husband was sure he was sick, injured, or in jail. We were very nervous parents on that three-hour drive to the college.
We arrived on campus about 11 p.m. When we drove around to his dorm, we noticed his car parked in the library parking lot. We parked our car and both ran over to see if Zack might be in it. He was, and so was his very embarrassed date. Zack had finally discovered females!
Our trip home (without Zack) was sprinkled with lots of laughs and a few tears.
In the next four months of school, Zack made it home only once, for Easter, and he brought along his girlfriend. She is now his wife and together they have 6 wonderful children!
— Mom, Salt Lake City, Utah
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