Being a parent to a teenager can be challenging, but it can reach an entirely new level when they start showing an interest in dating. While you might not want to stop them from meeting new people and finding out how precious love can be, you likely want to keep them safe and prevent heartbreak. Rather than saying no to dating altogether, you might like to explore some of these safe dating tips instead.
Find Out Who They’re Seeing
Every parent has the right to know who their children are spending time with. Talk with your teenager about who they plan to see and even use the internet to look them up and find out more about them if you feel comfortable doing so.
Depending on how fast their relationship progresses, you might also be at the point where you want to meet their friend in person and talk to their friend’s parents about their new relationship to make sure the lines of communication are open.
Lay Out Ground Rules
It won’t always be easy for your teen to understand what you expect of them regarding their dating life if you haven’t laid any ground rules. When you become aware that they have a potential love interest, consider sitting them down and establishing a set of guidelines to help keep them safe.
Some of these ground rules might include not allowing a boyfriend or girlfriend to affect family time and keeping the bedroom door open if they’re visiting. You might also create a rule about a parent always being home and informing you by text or in person if their date plans change so that you always know where they are.
Enforce a Curfew
Many teen couples love going to the movies, sports games, and other fun events. You might assume they would return home as soon as those events end, but they might not unless you enforce a curfew. You might have a firm curfew in place, regardless of what they are doing, or you might set a flexible one based on the event and when it ends. Communicate these curfews clearly to avoid any conflict or confusion around when your teen needs to be home.
Bring Up Difficult Topics
Many parents can find it challenging to deal with the realization that their teenager is no longer a child. They’re now experiencing the real world, and there can be some genuine dangers associated with that. As tough as it can be to talk to your teen about drugs, alcohol, and sex, it can be necessary to make sure your teen knows how to keep themselves safe.
Make sure they know that you’re always there for them if they need help and be ready to answer any questions they have. If your teen isn’t comfortable talking to you, make sure they have access to someone who can answer their questions, such as an expert, a family friend, or a family member.
Every parent wants to keep their child safe, but dating can be a natural part of growing up. You might not be able to stop your teen from dating, but you can put steps in place to ensure they can date safely with your full support.
p.s. Related posts:
To examine any book more closely at Indiebound or Amazon, please click on image of book.
As an Amazon and IndieBound Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.