Dating Excuses Vs. Accountability

Dating another person is a big responsibility. Honesty and integrity will be key in helping you form an authentic relationship

So I got rear-ended last week. Minding my own business at a red light, a woman plowed right into me. I drove into a gas station and got out of my car to evaluate the damage and here’s what she said, “Yeah, my foot must have slipped off the brake.” Seriously? That’s it? You expect me to believe that you can embed your license plate logo into my bumper at idle speeds if … [Read more...]

Giving Your Teen Their License to Date – Podcast

Letting your teen date before they've had some lessons is like driving a car without a license

Teens and Dating Podcast You wouldn't let your teen get behind the wheel of a car before they'd gone thru driver's ed or driving school lessons, so why would you let them start dating without some lessons on relationships? Our guest this week is Lisa Jander, also known as the Teen Dating Mechanic and in this podcast we discuss different things your teen needs to know before … [Read more...]

The Reflection in the Mirror – When I Was 14

being 14 is a world of makeup, boys and other changes

Seeing myself in that three-way mirror was like seeing myself for the first time. All the ways I’d placed myself in the world suddenly gave way. We were at Jessica’s house in her mom’s bathroom trying on the eyeliner I wouldn’t be allowed to wear for another year, curling our eyelashes, giggling and gasping as they caught in between the metal clamps. I moved a panel of the … [Read more...]

5 Ways to Help Teens After a Break Up

5 Ways to Help Teens after a Break Up

Teenage Heartbreak Break-ups are inevitable for teen relationships. It’s one reason I advocate kids shouldn’t date someone they wouldn’t consider marrying. Realistically, high school romances will either end up in life-long committed relationship, or an eventual break up. There are no other options. When the break up happens, then what? Here are 5 tips for helping your … [Read more...]

Why I Said Yes to My Daughter’s First “Date”

what are you going to do when your teen asks to date

My youngest daughter  (Miss E.) goes out on her "first date" next weekend. She is 13 years old. I swear I recall telling my girls that they weren't dating until I was dead. Ok, not really. I would eventually like to have grandchildren MANY years from now, but while I'm still somewhat mobile--and coherent. This child comes up to me today in church as I'm waiting for … [Read more...]

PDAs: Please Do Abstain


Here, in Part Two of my series on PDAs (if you missed part one, read it here!), are some more questions and answers. May they lead us all to learn and follow the 3-Rs of publicly displaying affection: Respect, Restraint, Retreat.  Where should teens draw the line on PDAs? Falling back upon the quaint baseball analogy, a PDA should never go beyond first base—hand-holding … [Read more...]

Teens and PDAs: Pretty Darn Annoying


Many people ask me about Public Displays of Affection. First, let’s agree that the world can always use more affection. But, as the saying goes, there’s a time and a place for everything. And many practitioners of the PDA choose the wrong time and the wrong place for their amorous explorations. So that we can all traverse the public domain without feeling like extras in an … [Read more...]

The Only Dating Advice I’ve Given My Teens

dating advice for teens

I've been raising teens for over ten years now. When my kids are in 5th grade, I share the only dating advice they'll ever hear from me: Only date someone you would consider marrying. The words seem foolish when you’re ten or twelve, but first romances start at those ages. I had my first boyfriend at eleven. He was my first true love. We had secret dates at the school … [Read more...]

Is It Love Or Just A Crush – Social Media and Your Teen

Is it love or just a crush - Social media and your teen

Does Your Teen Love Social Media? With Valentine’s Day around the corner, love is in the air. You can feel it, see it and even taste it! How do you celebrate? Are you swayed by commercialism, Hallmark and peer pressure and go all-out on February 14? Or, do you celebrate just the way you want, all year long? (This is how my husband and I do it, by the way. I can't remember the … [Read more...]

Teaching Teens about Boundaries & Harmful Relationships

what teens need to know about relationships

Teens need boundaries in dating relationships. In today's increasingly violence and aggressive society, it’s important you teach your teen about healthy boundaries with dating partners. Here are a few truths to teach your teen about boundaries. Boundaries define what your property is – physically, mentally and emotionally. It defines what is yours. You have control over … [Read more...]

Riding Shotgun Down Lover’s Lane

Riding Shotgun Down Lover's Lane

Riding Shotgun Down Lover’s Lane In the 40-something short years I’ve been on this planet, I’ve lived a lot of different lives in lots of different places.  I’ve known people in, and had friends in, all walks of life.  In all of my travels, the finest man I’ve ever known lives right here under my own roof, and I call him Son. Just like my daughter shows me things I never … [Read more...]

Teenager In Love: More Than Just a Catchy Song

teenager in love

Of Teen Love and Dating: Anyone who has ever been married, or in a long-term partnership, whether successfully or not, can attest to the fact that good relationships take time, effort and practice. It may be hard to imagine that the mercurial nature of your teenager's dating experiences may actually be helpful and healthy. Yet, the teenage years potentially provide a variety … [Read more...]

7 Things Teens Need to Know About ALL Relationships

Teens and Relationships Relationships get really interesting during the teen years. And I'm not just talking about boy-girl relationships (although, those get REALLY interesting) I'm talking about ALL relationships from friends to parents to siblings to teachers. But the one thing that is consistent about relationships is that they're typically between two people and rely … [Read more...]

The Girlfriend Scale – Do You Judge Your Teens Dates?

where do your teens love interests rank

On a scale from Brittney to Jennifer, my son’s current girlfriend is way closer to Jennifer than Brittney, and that is a good thing. Let me explain. My son did himself an incredible disservice in the seventh grade. He started dating Jennifer. It’s not that Jennifer was bad. It’s quite the opposite. Jennifer was, and is, perfect. I know this because I still keep in touch with … [Read more...]

How to Train a Man in 13 Steps

13 things girls need to know about boys

It's interesting to be the father of a young woman who is in college and dating. What's interesting is not the act of dating – I really don't want to think about the whole thing – but the realization that she's saying things about her boyfriend that her mother (and the unfortunate ladies I dated before meeting her) likely said about me. I get to hear them because I'm usually in … [Read more...]

Family Traditions – Ladies in Red

Ladies in Red

Ladies in Red  Valentine’s Day is less than 5 months away!  I’m all set. On the right in this photo is my Mommy.  On the left is my Baby, wearing my Mommy’s Valentine’s Day dance dress from February 14, 1958.  The dress is rich with antiquity, history, and love…  it fits Baby Girl’s soul as perfectly as it does her figure. In the spring of 1958, my Mommy allowed a … [Read more...]

Helping Your Teen Survive Valentine’s Day

surviving valentines day as a teen

Teens and Valentine's Day When I was in high school, cheerleaders sold flowers on Valentine’s Day for one dollar with notes attached to them from the sender. As a cheerleader, I’d deliver them to unsuspecting girls or guys during the last hour of school. There were squeals of joy from girls beaming that someone bought them a long-stemmed white or red carnation. As a teacher … [Read more...]

Is it Trendy to Date a Geek Nowadays?

Here is a question for you: do you remember when being a geek was a bad thing? I know I sure do, being that I was one my entire childhood. The "cool" kids didn't play video games or like science fiction. They didn't dream of taking the ring to Mordor or being a Jedi. They didn't listen to underground indie bands and wear tshirts with Atari references. But now you see the IT … [Read more...]

The Day I Told My Daughter About Rape

teaching our daughters about rape

I had given her a lot of freedom since our move, more than I would have in New Jersey.  The small town to which we had relocated in coastal North Carolina had a Mayberry feel.  It was quiet in the off season but not deserted.  The neighbors looked out for one another yet politely minded their own business. It was the kind of place where kids rode bicycles together after school … [Read more...]

Is Your Teen Is Being Victimized In A Dating Relationship?

recognizing the signs of dating violence in teens

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. But intimate partner violence doesn’t begin when a ring is on a finger or when the guy moves in. It also happens in teen dating relationships. Consider these facts: In 2001, 1 out of 5 female high school students reported being physically and/or sexually abused by a partner (Jay G. Silverman et al., “Dating Violence … [Read more...]