Ah, dating. It’s a part of every teen’s life. It’s also
a source of stress for most parents when their child
reaches this pivotal point. It doesn’t have to be
stressful. Here are a few tips to help you keep the fear
at bay when your teenager starts dating.
Age: More than a Number
Just because it seems like everyone other parent on
the planet is letting their teen date, doesn’t mean you
have to. Especially if your teen isn’t ready. Keep an
eye out for signs that your teen is really ready to
date. Dating shouldn’t be based on age alone. Take into
consideration maturity and not just physical maturity.
Emotional and mental maturities are more important when
your teen starts dating.
Keep the lines of communication open. Talk to your
teen and be honest about your feelings. Listen to their
feelings as well. You might be surprised to find that
they are just as scared as you are. Also, don’t
immediately go off the deep end the first time you hear
the phrase “Check her out!” or “He’s hot!” Be there for
your teen when they experience the good and the bad of
their dating experiences.
If you are uncomfortable letting your teen go on a
one on one date, try letting them go with a group the
first few of times. Even if the group is split up in
pairs, it still allows your teen to feel like he/she
fits in, but you’ll have the safety of knowing that it’s
not just your teen against one other if something were
to go wrong. Public places, such as bowling alleys or
miniature golf courses are a great option for group
Respect all Around
Teach your teen to respect the opposite sex long
before they begin dating. Remember, they can’t respect
someone else before they respect themselves. Make sure
your teen truly respects him/her before allowing them to
Set rules before your teen begins dating and stick
with them. The days of courting and getting permission
may be gone, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to
know who your teen is with, where they are going, how
they are getting there, and when they’ll be home. Set a
curfew that you feel comfortable with and keep in mind
any laws in your area when doing so. Just because your
town’s curfew may be midnight, doesn’t mean your teen
should stay out that late if you aren’t comfortable with
it. However, an 8 o’clock curfew won’t go over well at
all and will likely lead to rebellion from your teen at
some point. Find a happy medium that you are both
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