Doug Robinson: The first kiss and the long wait: Challenge costs Utah mom $20,000, but she's happy to pay


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  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    April 15, 2014 10:19 p.m.

    This is a bit creepy in my book. Working with the young women in church opened my eyes. They think that if they kiss a boy while they are dating then they need to repent of some evil sin. Some of the leaders even made it sound that way. Don't be promiscuous but kissing a boy isn't immoral. It was a fun time of the teenage years.

    Now we have singles in their 30's that wonder why they haven't found anyone. Learn to date. Learn to talk to the opposite sex in a normal conversation. Learn to like a member of the opposite sex. Learn what you like and don't like in a person or in a relationship. That is what it is all about.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    April 15, 2014 4:54 p.m.

    The best behaved kids that money can buy...And what happens, in the future, when there's a tough decision to be made and no one's there to offer cash for good behavior?

  • David_in_Texas Plano, TX
    April 15, 2014 1:39 p.m.

    The result here is that these kids aren't wasting a minute of their teenage years in the useless self-esteem vacuum of high school relationship drama. They're not being taught that kissing is bad - they're not coming away from this with a complex. This just postpones romance for them until a time of their life when they're ready to really give their hearts fully to someone. I say more power to them.

  • Brasil KAYSVILLE, UT
    April 15, 2014 1:30 p.m.

    I think this story is great! My wife and I had our first kiss with each other. And after a few years and a mission we ended up never kissing anyone else. So I can say I have never kissed anyone except my wife. It's not that kissing is bad...but that they need to be special. And when we go around and kiss anyone that we date they just don't end up special in the end. It wasn't neacesarrily planned that way, but that is how it worked out and I am grateful for it, we have a very cool story. I love her more that I would think is possible for someone to love someone else. Anyways I can honestly say that my wife is the best kisser I know.

  • Kirk R Graves West Jordan, UT
    April 15, 2014 11:58 a.m.

    "By their fruits ye shall know them". I don't know this family, or these kids, but it sounds like what this mom did worked perfectly. Although, I doubt very much this one conversation on the trampoline caused them to make the decisions they did. I'm betting mom and dad had many conversations; about drugs, sex, faith, self-worth, school, peers, dating, marriage...

    My favorite part of this story is the manipulation. No, not by the mom, by the kids. They totally pushed mom into a corner she wasn't really prepared for! By taking her up on a bet she made in jest, they put her in a position were she had to keep your side of the bargain. And in the end, I'll bet she was happy to do it.

  • MrsH Altamont, UT
    April 15, 2014 10:37 a.m.

    KJB1: Your comment makes a lot of sense, especially the parts about learning to control, manage, etc, YOURSELF. I just feel this woman unintentionally gave her kids the wrong idea.
    Appreciate your comment.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    April 15, 2014 9:53 a.m.

    Another example of Utah doing what Utah does best: giving children complexes about basic human behavior. Yes, it's a bad idea to have sex while you're still a teenager, but our physical attractions are some of the key parts of being alive. Learning to control, manage, and (yes) accept them while placing them in a proper context helps kids to become healthy, functional adults.

    Using bribery and a "do it or else" ethos? Not so sure about that...

  • Llew40 Sandy, UT
    April 15, 2014 9:53 a.m.

    With the lowering of the mission age now affecting dating and courtship that supposedly leads to temple marriage, I really hope Doug Robinson writes a follow-up story about "Darren" and "Abbie's" respective pay offs, especially Abbie. As a return sister missionary, young women are taught to expect growing up they will have to beat the young priesthood holders off them with a stick in order to hold out for the right one. But what if he never appears? Return sister missionaries are prudes and return RMs only want to date high school girls. I speak from experience and hope views in the church and especially in Utah will one day change for the better. "Are you excited to kiss someone?" is a dangerous and discouraging question to ask a young woman when no one is beating down her door, begging for a date, and she is victimized by the church for it.

  • Utah Native Farmington, UT
    April 15, 2014 9:29 a.m.

    Oops! I said latest issue of People. Unless the latest issue of People was March 12, 1984, I am in error.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    April 15, 2014 9:25 a.m.

    Am I the only one who thinks this whole plan is more than a bit ...Manipulative?

  • Utah Native Farmington, UT
    April 15, 2014 9:24 a.m.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with bribery if it works and there's a good motive behind it. I remember my mom offering (ok, bribing) to take me to a movie each time I wrote in my journal every day for a month. Not only did I get to go see a lot of fun movies with my mom, but I also have a written record of my growing-up years. I also remember Mom telling me how Tom Selleck's mom bribed her kids with a gold watch if they'd abstain from alcohol. Wondering if that was a true story, I googled it today and found it in the latest issue of People: "As a teenager in California, he [Tom Selleck] abstained from alcohol until his 21st birthday and consequently received a gold watch from his investment executive father, as did his sister and two brothers in turn." I'll bet that kept her kids out of a lot of trouble during their teen years.

  • Shawnm750 West Jordan, UT
    April 15, 2014 9:19 a.m.

    I think most people on here are failing to see past the $10,000. I don't necessarily agree with this mom's approach, but what she was trying to teach her kids was a greater lesson in morality and that things like kissing and physical intimacy are things that are to be shared with people who are going to value them. Too often people (especially high school kids) are ridiculed for having high standards of morality. I think the nature of her discussion, which happened when the kids were 13 and 11, was to teach them this principle and instill in them a guiding sense of morality as they approached the dating age. By assigning such a high monetary value, she helped two young kids understand how important their morality was to her, and in turn how important it ought to be to them. As the story states, she never REALLY intended to pay up. Again, I don't necessarily agree with her method, but by paying up she's teaching them another lesson in honoring one's commitments. Other parents can still teach this lesson, but can decide whether a monetary (or other temporal incentive) is necessary.

    April 15, 2014 9:11 a.m.

    That magical first kiss, the innocent and awkward moment of butterflies and sweaty palms and delirious chemicals in the brain after a dreamlike dance, (at an LDS church house no less, in Sunday attire), was priceless and a memory I cherish and would not deny my own daughters... ever... ever. Why do we insist on castigating the most simple, beautiful, human, joyful, wonderful experiences of our short lives as sinful and things to shun and run away from? I mean, that first kiss... WOW! It was 3 seconds of closed lips and trembling knees followed by about 4 hours of a non-stop smile on my face. Sad sad sad sad sad... sad. I am genuinely sad for her kids. Way to make something precious and innocent, rotten and negative.

  • Let it Go! Omaha, NE
    April 15, 2014 9:07 a.m.

    I think the point here is that it's not the kiss itself that is a problem, but what could happen afterwards. You kiss a girl for a second, which can lead to a minute, which, if the relationship increases dramatically, could lead to her getting pregnant. Great, another teenager mom.
    I'm not saying that is what always happens. I am just saying that we should be careful on kissing whoever we want. For me, I treat kissing as a special occasion between a man and wife in marriage, just like sex. But that is just my viewpoint.
    If you need guidance on kissing, I would look in For the Strength of Youth and any other counsel given by the prophet and apostles on this subject.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    April 15, 2014 8:51 a.m.


    Agreed. Is there anything wrong with not kissing until 18?


    But there's nothing "right" about it either.

    There is nothing more inherently correct or moral about not kissing until 18 than there would be not talking with a member of the opposite sex until 18.

  • o_chowders South Jordan, UT
    April 15, 2014 8:36 a.m.

    It appears that all this mom's $20,000 bought her was 2 kids with a strange(and unhealthy, IMO)obsession about kissing.

  • ImABeliever Provo, UT
    April 15, 2014 7:24 a.m.

    I really dislike of the attitude of bribing that is prevalent in Utah. There always has to be some reward attached. Can't people just do things out of honor and respect without some reward.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    April 15, 2014 7:19 a.m.

    Stupid me. I paid for their college and didn't even get anything back.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    April 15, 2014 7:03 a.m.

    It is not immoral to kiss someone at age 17.

    All this parent did was take the money they would have used to pay for college or mission or both and stick a controlling condition on whether the kids get it.

    What if someone steals a kiss? Do pecks count?

  • steeroper SACRAMENTO, CA
    April 15, 2014 2:38 a.m.

    Common sense, I don't believe in paying our kids for good behavior, either, but it looks like it just started out as a joke. When it actually became the kids' goal to make it to 18, maybe the parents said, "Hey, I guess it's worth it to save our money over time while they saves their kisses." Luckily, they did learn the real meaning over the years and it became more than a pay-off for keeping a 'rule.' Sounds like a win-win to me.

    I was the mom who would say, "I brought you into this world & I can take you out" when they were dorks. It was cheaper.

  • common sense in Idaho Pocatello, id
    April 14, 2014 10:23 p.m.

    So what happens to the parents that don't have a spare $10,000 to bribe our kids with? Money is what it takes to get our kids to be moral?

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    April 14, 2014 9:21 p.m.

    Kissing is overrated. $10,000 at age 18 is not overrated.

  • Stop The Nonsense El Paso, TX
    April 14, 2014 6:12 p.m.

    Pretty creative. I'm glad to hear that they approached it well so that the kids understood that kissing--in and of itself--is not a bad thing, but something that should be meaningful.

    I'm also glad to hear that the plan didn't backfire with the girl having that line of boys waiting for her on her 18th birthday.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    April 14, 2014 5:11 p.m.

    A brilliant idea and a great example of good parenting!

    I'd probably do it until the mission papers are in, but it's still awesome!