When your teen starts dating, the last thing you want to have to do is to have “the talk”. I don’t just mean the birds and bees talk, I mean the talk about self-worth, respect, holding on to your standards, and avoiding peer pressure. Talking to your kids early and often about these things will go a long way to making sure that these concepts are firmly ingrained in your kid’s minds, and that is some good advice for teenage dating.
It’s not going to be easy. More than likely at some point your teen will push the limits and rebel at the restrictions you are placing on them. But, with some forethought and some dialog early on, you may be able to keep the skirmishes to a minimum, at the very least your teen can not try to make you feel guilty and feel like you blindsided them.
There are many things you should discuss with your teen early on. One of the most important is what you think is the ideal age for them to start dating. Many parents will ease their kids into dating slowly. At some age, say around 13 or 14 they may allow their child to spend time with a group of kids, members of the opposite sex too. Then when their child gets a few years older they may allow them to go out solo with someone but only if they are driven by a parent and with strict curfews and rules in place.
One of those rules may be that you have to meet not only your child’s date but you need to know their phone number and address and possibly even request meeting their parents. Be warned, your kid will most likely say you are “embarrassing” them and have a little fit, but when they realize it’s this way or no way, they will probably settle down.
When my kids were younger, for example, and this was just a general rule not just for dating, I would not allow them to drive anywhere with a friend until their friend had had a clean driving record for at least one year. My kids moaned and griped, but too bad.
I was proven right too, a friend who had only had their license for 1 day, loaded up the car with a group of kids headed to an amusement park. They never made it. Instead, they ended up in a ditch, no one was seriously hurt, it could have been a lot of worse, but my kids stopped griping after that, and I was more confidant than ever that I had made the right call.
All of these things are things to take into consideration when you are looking for good advice for teenage dating. There are never any guarantees but if you talk to your kids and make sure they know what your expectations are and why you both may have a little easier time. Ultimately, it’s not about right or wrong or who is in control, it’s about keeping your kids safe and helping them make better choices at all stages of their life.