Teenage dating guide for parents
“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.
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“Parents need to talk to their kids about healthy relationships.
They need to talk about boundaries, and they need to start the conversation early.” Sharing age-appropriate information about sex and sexuality helps keep kids safe and healthy.
Rules Depending on the age and maturity of a teen, parents need to decide what guidelines they will set in place for their teen in regards to dating.
Will your teen’s curfew be different when out on a date versus out with friends? Is it okay for your teen to date someone a few years older or younger?
To help ensure your teen has a positive dating experience, here are a few things to consider when preparing for your conversation.
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.
“Let your kids know that if someone’s pressuring them — whether they’re asking for a photo or something that’s physical — that’s not healthy and that’s not loving,” says Heidi Griswold, community engagement coordinator with Hope Works of Howard County, a nonprofit agency based in Columbia that addresses sexual, dating and domestic violence.
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.