Dating 101: The Teen Edition

In your eyes, they're still just babies -- but those babies have grown up! Rather than have a meltdown when your teen comes home and utters the question, 'can I go on a date?' be prepared with our guide to navigating this tricky time in life. It'll ease not only your anxieties, but your teen's anxieties too.

Teenager Dating in High School

Open communication

Establishing an open line of communication is paramount -- especially during this age in your child's life. Encourage him to be open and honest with you and let him know that any question he may have is welcome. Be honest with your child regarding your expectations of him and also discuss important values in your family.

Set boundaries

While the idea of your teen dating in general may be uncomfortable, one way to ease some stress is to set some boundaries. Curfews, chaperones and letting her know what kind of dates are or aren't okay, will let everyone know where the line is. Be prepared to outline any consequences should she cross these boundaries and any potential ways she can earn your trust for fewer boundaries in the future.

Discuss his/her responsibilities

Let your teen know that letting them date is a privilege. Dating costs money, and it also takes up valuable time that's otherwise been allocated toward school, work or other extracurricular activities. Is your teen truly prepared to juggle all this? Be sure to emphasize that should grades, household chores or other responsibilities fall by the wayside, dating privileges may be taken away.

Expectations

At any age, a fresh relationship is new and exciting. But when it comes to inexperienced youth, there's plenty of room for bad decisions. Take this opportunity to talk to your teen about what makes a healthy relationship, what he/she should expect from his/her partner and in return, what he/she should give. Emphasize that the line of communication with you is always open in case your teen ever feels the need to discuss an uncomfortable situation that may arise.

'The' Talk

There's no way around it, so be prepared to talk about sex. While it may feel a bit awkward realize, it's uncomfortable for your child, too, so try to be as casual as you can and lead the conversation. It's always best to address the subject openly and honestly -- and sooner rather than later.

For more parenting on SheKnows

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Time to have the sex talk with your teen

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Tags: adolesence

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Comments

Comments on "A mom's guide to teen dating"

Alizen May 16, 2010 | 7:43 PM

I wouldn't say that having "the talk" has to be as dreadful as everyone makes it out to be. Your teen is old enough to comprehend the issues with the birds and the bees, and if they're contemplating such, they should be old enough to understand the consequences and results. I was reading an article the other day (Click here to read it yourself) about teenage girls dating boys who may or may not be using them for . I thought this would be a great addition to the advice given on this page.

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