At some point, your teenager is going to want to start dating. This will happen whether you want it to or not. Keeping your teen locked up from the concept of dating is not going to make for a healthy relationship between you. It’s important that you work through the teen dating scene with excellent communication skills to ready them and you for a smooth experience.

Deciding on an age to start dating should be more like a guideline for you and your teen. For example, if you stated that they should be 15, but when they reach that age you decide they’re not mature enough to handle it; you change your mind and that could bring you some problems. They could rebel because you went back on your word.

Sit down with them and explain that you could discuss the matter further when they get close to the age you have in mind. Let them know that they need to be mature enough to handle their dating experience and explain why. This way, if they’re not emotionally ready at the proposed age, then they would be a little more willing to wait.

As they get closer to their proposed age, you will want to discuss the rules you have laid down for when they start to date. Don’t wait until the last minute to tell them what they are. You can add as you go, but at least give them a sneak peek at what they will have to abide by when they do go on their first date.

Keep in mind that the pressures you experienced when you were a teen are different than the ones they’re going to have to face. Be prepared and make sure those issues are addressed when you do have your discussion. Your teenager needs to know the good and the bad of dating, so be sure to set aside enough time to talk and answer questions.

Things to Discuss

Sex- Make sure they know that they shouldn’t feel pressured into having sex and that if this should occur, they should call you right away to come pick them up. Be sure they know that anyone who is physically, mentally, or sexually abusive is not a good candidate for dating. The first time something like that happens, they should call you, no matter what time of the day or night.

Meeting Their Dates- Always be sure you meet the first date candidate before they go out. Get to know them a little bit to get a feel for how much you can trust them with your child. This should go for both girls and boys. If you choose to always meet their dates, then make sure your child knows that.

Chaperones- If your child is going to date in their early teen years; then this should be considered. If there’s an older sibling that’s willing to go along, that would be best to help your child be comfortable. If not, then you or another adult should go along and hang back while they have a good time.

Cell Phones- Consider getting one for your child and make sure they take it along on their dates. Should something happen while they’re out, they need a way to contact you immediately no matter what the problem is. Let your child know that they can call you at any time for any reason when they go out.

Dating Plans- You should know where your teen and their date are planning to go. Let your child know they should call you if the plan changes while their out. Being aware of where they’re at all times when they’re gone, will help alleviate some of your stress during this time.

Allowing your teenager to date in this day and age can be scary. Teen dating nowadays isn’t the same as when you were their age. Try to keep your relationship open, honest, and loving so they can be more comfortable coming to you to discuss anything. Learn to trust your parenting, and they should be just fine.

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