Any discussion about teenagers dating has got to take one very important fact into consideration: there is a wide range of ages that the teenagers can fall into and a lot of the rules will vary depending on the actual ages of the kids.
For example, a thirteen year old should absolutely have much stricter rules about dating than a eighteen year old would have. That's not to say that the older teenagers dating don't still need rules, it just means that they will likely be a little more lax.
Here are some good rules for you to consider establishing with your teenagers, preferably before they actually even start dating:
1. Let your teenagers know that you expect them to introduce you to whoever they are dating, on the first date. You want to know their full name, address phone numbers and, if possible, you would like to meet their parents too.
Now, more than likely your teen will complain about this and complain that you are "embarrassing" them. Well, too bad. You are their parent and it's your job to try to protect them.
2. Set specific guidelines about the age your kid has to be before they can go out on a date, you will also need to define just what a "date" is. For example, do you consider it a date when your teen goes out with a group of friends or just when they go out one on one? It's up to you, just let them know what your rules are.
3. Make sure your kids are clear on the amount of time and days they are allowed to go out. For example, will you allow them to go out on a school night? If not, how about to a school function? You set the rules, you decide but to save yourself some hassles down the road, make sure you spell it all out.
4. Make sure you tell your kids what their curfew will be as well as what the penalty will be if they are late. It's also a good idea to talk to your kids' date so they know what your expectations are too.
5. Make sure your kid has a cell phone with minutes on it. Now, I'm not saying you should get them a full time cell phone but you can get a pay as you go phone for around $30. If you choose, you can just let them have the phone when they go out on a date so they can call home if there is a problem of any kind.
6. Make sure your kids know how they should handle a situation if their date starts drinking or becoming abusive. Let your kids know that if there has been any drinking that they should call you for a ride home.
If you want them to call you in that situation, you had better explain to them that while you might be angry with them if that situation happens, you love them and you don't want them to get killed, so they should call you.
Teenagers dating can be a scary time for any parent, but if you use these guidelines you can help establish the ground rules and hopefully avert some fights in the process.