So Your Child Wants To Date – Parental Tips
Sooner or later, your teen is going to want to start dating. Are you, as a parent, ready to guide your child through this part of their life? In reality, you have been demonstrating how you handle relationships as a role model for your child since they were born. However, having discussions about the ways to conduct yourself in intimate relationships are necessary for a better understanding.
When your teen asks if they can begin dating, it is time to have the talk. Find a quiet, private place where you won’t be interrupted. Let them know that you are pleased and excited about their interest in going out with someone. Tell them you want to share information about this phase of their life so they will be well prepared for the experiences they may encounter. Encourage them to ask questions as well as share any concerns they may have.
New relationships are exciting, especially with hormones buzzing, so remind your child that safety is first. Take time for the relationship to develop, after all, that is the point of the dating ritual. Emphasis should be placed on gaining respect before things get physical. Learning what both of you have in common as well as what you don’t, should be one of the first priorities when dating.
Taking time to find out if the other person shows respect or is controlling, jealous, sneaky, or lies will save a lot of heartaches in the long run. Tutor your child in ways to find out whether a person is interested in them as a person, or whether there is another agenda at play. Tell them that people who have their best interest at heart will not try to force them to do anything against their will. When uncertain, just say no.
Sex should be addressed with your teen. Particularly the consequences that can have long-lasting effects. Discuss with them about STD’s (Sexually Transmitted Diseases), and the problems that come with them. Include information about the types of available treatment. If your teen is female, discuss the possibility of becoming pregnant and how that can impact their entire life. Address this issue objectively in the manner of educating them about making choices and their consequences.
Discuss with them items that they should have with them when on a date such as a phone, money, and identification. Impress on the need for honest communication. As a parent, you want to know who they are with as well as where they are going. Ask to meet the person your teen is going to date. Request their date’s name and phone number. Encourage your teen to resist situations where they feel uncomfortable.
As their role model, be supportive of this rite of passage phase in their life. Do not make threats or attempt to scare your child in your discussion with them. You do not want to make them feel like they cannot come and talk to you about what they are experiencing. They need your love, support, interaction, and guidance.
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