Like it or not, your teenage sons/daughters will soon be going through this phase; boys meet girls, vice versa, and they fall in love. Dating is a big part of your child’s adolescent development. We’re talking about actual romantic dating, not elementary school crushes. They’re going to love someone that’s not you. What’s worse, they’ll be willing to put themselves at risk of being hurt because of it.
The sooner we accept this reality the better. The sooner we can plan what to do before and when it actually happens. We can’t avoid them from falling in love and start dating. We can’t decide when they should fall in love and start dating. What can we do? Be prepared and intervene early.
Establishing some healthy dating boundaries early on can help prevent a host of issues. The following are some quick tips for you and your teen to communicate about dating dos and don’ts.
1) Discourage Early
Do what you can to discourage early, and be firm about it. We won’t tell you when your son or daughter should start dating. That’s for you to decide. 16 years of age and above seem safe.
2) Healthy Boundaries
Establish healthy boundaries on dating. They include emotional boundaries, physical boundaries, and digital boundaries. Ask yourself these questions; can they bring their partner home? How late can they arrive home from dating? How often can they both go out and dating?
3) Sexual Relationship
Discuss sexual activity with them. No means no, for instance, is a good default place to start. Explain why, and do your best to explain responsibilities that are involved in a sexual relationship.
4) Get To Know The Person They’re Dating
Meet the person who’s dating your son/daughter. Talk and get to know them. You may talk to their family too. Tell them about your healthy boundaries and rules on dating.
5) Open Dialogue
Check in with your teenager on a daily basis and get a sense of their state of mind. Ask them about their partner. Tell them that it’s okay to share with you. This helps build trust and respect in them.
Teen Dating Advice for Parents. (n.d.). Retrieved March 21, 2020, from https://www.secureteen.com/values-traditions/teens-and-dating-guidelines-for-parents/
Parentingteensandtweens. (2018, October 12). 5 Essential Rules To Prepare Your Teen Daughter For Healthy Dating. Retrieved March 21, 2020, from https://parentingteensandtweens.com/5-rules-to-prepare-your-teen-daughter-for-healthy-dating/
Langr, D. (2017, March 01). The Dos and Don’ts of Teenage Dating. Retrieved March 21, 2020, from https://wehavekids.com/parenting/The-Dos-and-Donts-of-Teenage-Dating-and-Courtship
Coping with Teen Dating – Tips for Parents. (n.d.). Retrieved March 21, 2020, from https://childdevelopmentinfo.com/ages-stages/teenager-adolescent-development-parenting/teen-dating/