The world of teenage dating has changed a lot in recent years, but for all of those changes there are still many things that have remained the same. This article is written for parents who are looking for advice on teenage dating, but teenagers will find there is a lot of good stuff in it for them as well. You, as a parent, may wish to read it first, and then give it to your teen. After you have both read it, you will be able to use it as the basis of a conversation.
The best time to start preparing for your teen's dating is when they are toddlers. That idea may sound odd, but it makes sense when you think about it. The key is to make sure anything you discuss is appropriate for their age. You should also be aware of the lessons you are teaching your children. Remember, kids learn way more from what you do than from what you tell them.
What if you hadn't thought about it then, and they are ready to date now? Don't worry, there is still plenty of advice for teenage dating that can help them navigate through the choppy waters.
1. You need to trust them. It's not easy to let your teenager start dating. After all, you are worried about what they are up to when you are not there to keep an eye them. Even worse, you remember all too vividly what you were like when you were a teenager, and you can't imagine them doing some of the same things. However, if you have brought them up right, and they are generally honest, then you need to trust them to make good decisions.
2. Set limitations. Let's face it, teens do not like rules. What you may not know is that they actually like them, but only when you disguise them as limitations. Growing up is confusing, and they want to test boundaries, but they also like having some direction as they go down the road of life. Set limitations on what's acceptable and what isn't. For example, if you don't believe in sex until after marriage, then let them know how you feel and why. If you understand premarital sex may happen, then you need to set clear guidelines on the use of contraception. In both cases, you need to do your best to drive home the concept of responsibility.
3. Find out why they want to date. Chances are good that you are making assumptions about why your teenager wants to start dating. Maybe it's because they need a release for all of those pent-up hormones, or maybe they just think it's what they should be doing. Of course, it's entirely possible that they have strong feelings for somebody that they consider special.
This is only the start when it comes to advice for teenage dating. Luckily, there are some top-notch resources to help you and your teen get through an important time in their lives.