Dear Dr. Wallace:
I’m 15 and want to start dating soon. My mother said I could, but I have to take my 11-year-old sister along with me on the date. I refuse to do that, even if it means I won’t be dating. Can you imagine this? I’d be the laughing stock of my entire community of friends if I took my little sister along on a date. I don’t think that guys would ever ask me out again! I think my mother is just telling me that she doesn’t trust me, even though I’ve never given her any reason not to.
Please just answer yes or no to two questions, honestly, with no added comments. I can accept your answers even if you don’t agree with me, and I’ll wait until I can date without embarrassment!
Question No. 1: Do you think my 11-year-old sister should tag along when I go on a date with a boy?
Question No. 2: Do you think my mother is unreasonable in making this a condition of allowing me to date?
— Older Sis,
Dear Older Sis: Answer to question No. 1: No! Answer to question No. 2: Yes!
P.S. To Older Sis’ mother: If you trust that your daughter is a mature enough young lady and ready to date at this point, then having a young sister tag along is outrageous.
If you don’t trust your daughter, for any reason, then she is not ready to date. In that case, having an 11-year-old sister going along is unnecessary anyhow. I think there are a lot of other places your 11-year-old daughter would enjoy better.