Thursday, May 26, 2011

Your Teen wants to Date

Often teens (whether their parents are ready or not) are granted the chance to date formally when they are between 13 and 16. When teens date, understand and remember the very persuasive pressure of both peers and hormones. Make sure you and your child have talked about the rules and expectations for dating. Be sure that you have had honest discussions about sex and the consequences of early intimacy.

Spend time talking about good choices for places to go, things to do and ways to handle the unexpected. For instance, does your teen know what to do if the car breaks down, if he or she needs a ride home, or how to protect oneself from an unwanted romantic advance?

Don’t be afraid to talk to your son or daughter candidly about relationships, dating, and sex. If you don’t others will . . . and wouldn’t your rather have them get the facts from you?

Remember, there are exceptions to every rule. Some children may not date until they are 16 or 17, others may begin much younger. Some 11 – 14 year olds may skip the group dating and become quite seriously quickly. Pay attention to your child. Open, trusting communication can keep you informed as to whether or not your pre-teen or teen is becoming too serious, too soon. Their Facebook pages will give you information, too. Don’t be afraid to check it out!

Help encourage healthy dating practices and be on alert for unhealthy, risky dating relationships. Parents who are more involved and aware of their pre-teen’s and teen’s activities, friendships and dating relationships, are more likely to have children involved in less risk-taking experiences.

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