Perhaps parents are not too ecstatic about their teenager starting to date. It is something that can cause much anxiety for a mother who would be up all night, wondering or worried. Even if you wish the time your teenager will never have to date, it will happen. The only sane thing to do is to prepare your child to this eventuality and hope that everything comes out fine. Teaching your children how to date is one of the things that you should do. It will also prepare them how to protect themselves from physical or emotional pain.
Teach them to trust their judgment
Help your children pay attention to their comfort level. Tell them that if ever they are in a difficult situation that you are willing to pick them up. Panic attacks can occur if your child is pushed in a situation that may cause discomfort. It is good that you have laid the groundwork by telling them that you will be there for them if that situation occurs. Teach your child to listen to her judgment. If she or he noticed something is just not right during the date, your child must be taught with ways on how to either face or flee from the situation.
Teach them to be cautious of the danger signs
Let your teenager realize the danger signs that they should be on the lookout when they go out on dates. The teenager should be able to relay any signs of oppression or abuse to you at the very least to somebody that they can trust and could do something about, like a teacher, the school counselor or another parent. See to it that the communication lines and cell phones are always turned on until your child comes back home.
No is a firm no
Telling your boys to respect the girl’s decision is the cornerstone of responsible dating. If they would assert themselves even the girl already said no can be considered as a form of abuse. Your child should be able to convey their feelings in the most honest and clearest way possible. A girl should be clear cut about her decision leaving no avenue for interpretation. A no is a no, no ifs and buts.
Start the sex talk early
Experts agree that having that sex talk as early as possible could save your child from negative repercussions. The problem is how soon you would teach your child about sex. Experts say that it should be an age-appropriate sex talk where the child can easily grasp the concepts. It is best to discuss dating with your child before he or she hits the teen years to prevent the talks from becoming awkward.
Agree on the rules
As a parent you should lay down the ground rules on dating. Make sure they understand that the rules are non-negotiable. Sit down with your child and discuss the rules with them and make sure that they understand why there is a need to have rules. Make them realize your expectations and the consequences of going against the rules. It is more likely your child will respond to the rules if they are able to grasp the idea behind it.
Dating can be a fun time for teenagers. It is a time for social exploration and could benefit their growth and maturity as a person. However, parents need to keep a close eye on their teenagers especially that teenagers sometimes are not wary of how heartaches can negatively impact their personal view of serious relationships. Lack of talk and preparation from parents is a recipe for trouble. Take the confusion out of dating by making sure everything is done responsibly. Furthermore, parents must not underestimate the importance of open communication. Parents must create an atmosphere in which children will never be ashamed to ask about things such as dating and other personal matters about relationships with the opposite sex. It is part of the responsibility of a parent to be always ready for answers should their children ask for it.
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