Teenage dating guide for parents
If parents notice abrupt changes in their teens, such as suddenly dropping or adding friends, it’s time to talk, Griswold notes.“On TV and in the movies we see this idea that being in love and being in a relationship means that you have to spend 100 percent of your time with that person,” she says.Parents should start by asking their child about his or her expectations.Roffman says excellent conversation-starters include: Use your child’s responses to talk about the values — such as honesty, respect or trust — that you expect him or her to uphold in any and all sexual experiences, including first kisses, says Roffman, who wrote “Talk to Me First” and “Sex and Sensibility.” “Those very early experiences can shape their behavior and relationships for years to come,” she says.Every year, 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience some sort of physical abuse from their dating partner.The numbers are staggering, and, yet, it seems that no one is talking about it.The same survey found that 23 percent of teens with dating experience had sent “flirty or sexy” pictures or videos to someone they were interested in.
Experts say red flags include: Healthy relationships shouldn’t interfere with a teen’s commitments to school or favorite activities.“As parents, you absolutely want the opportunity to establish those values early on so they develop healthy attitudes that carry them through adolescence and beyond.” Teens may say they want independence, but when it comes to dating and relationships, experts agree setting limits is important.Rules offer kids a sense of security and ultimately teach them how to set their own boundaries — an invaluable skill as they prepare to leave the nest, Roffman says. “And they know they have to keep the location service on their phones turned on so we know where they are.” Experts also encourage parents to talk to their children about setting and respecting sexual boundaries, whether in person or online.Age matters Dating is different for a middle-school-aged teen versus an upperclassman in high school.
For teens in middle school, group activities such as school dances, going to the mall, movies or sporting events will give your teen a chance to spend time with his or her boy or girlfriend in a supervised environment.As a parent, you may be thinking, “I’m not ready for this! ” But, rest assured, the time is here, and it is better to be prepared for it than not.