Today there are more ways than ever to meet other people, that can be both a blessing and a curse. For this reason teenage dating today can be challenging to say the least. Dating is an important aspect of the development for young people, but there are some precautions that should be followed to protect your child while still giving them all the room and independence they need to grow into independent adults.
To make it easier for you and your child when they do start dating take some time before they are old enough to date to establish what you want to happen. This will make it easier for you when the time does come and they will know what is expected of them.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when facing the challenges of teenage dating today:
1. Start early. Long before your child is at dating age start figuring out what dating age is. Kids today are growing up faster, but you ultimately have the control over how much they will be allowed to do and at what age they will be allowed to do it.
So, decide how old they have to be before they can date. Also, decide what "dating" is. Is it considered a date if there is a whole group of kids? Is it considered dating if they are going to a school event? Or do you define dating as a one on one going out together alone situation?
2. What will the curfew be for your child when they do start dating? Will they have different curfews for weekends or weeknights, will they even be allowed to go out on weeknights? What about going to school events?
3. Explain the dangers of peer pressure and alcohol, drugs and sex. The best way to help them overcome these issues is to provide them with a safe haven. Let them know that you will listen to them and make it clear (don't assume they know) that even if they mess up, you might get mad, but you are always on their side and you always love them.
4. Before and during the time they date encourage them to do any and all activities that can help them build solid self esteem. If your kid is great at a sport, encourage them. If they excel in school encourage them. All of this will help them stand up to peer pressure better. It's not a do all end all, but it is a good start. This can really help them excel all during their life and not just in their dating lives either.
There can be some challenges when it comes time to deal with your child and teenage dating today. It's usually easier to deal with things if you have spent some time thinking of how you want things to be before they actually become an issue. So, make it easier on yourself and your kids, decide ahead of time what rules you will want to implement.