As your child begins their journey into becoming a teenager, a natural progression is their desire to begin dating. Many parents have differing opinions about when their teenager should be dating. However, it is important that parents make sure that their teenager understands when and at what age they will be allowed to begin dating.
When to Begin the Teenage Dating Talk
Thoughts of dating will become apparent between the ages of 12 and 16 years. This will be about the time that your teenager will begin to formulate ideas of what a relationship should be. They will be influenced by what they see on TV and in the movies, as well as how their peers behave. All of these influences will begin to pressure your child into thinking they need to have a relationship and therefore begin dating.
This is a great time to begin the conversation with your child about the appropriate time to start dating. A conversation about when to begin dating is a lot easier to have than after your teenager has decided to begin. Approach the subject of dating as a hypothetical conversation with your teenager. If you talk with them about their dating life, they may see it as a personal attack.
Be Open When Discussing Dating With Your Teenager
It is important to be able to openly talk with your teenager about who they are dating. If you as the parent see that your teenager’s choice in dating is not one that you approve of, you need to have that open communication to discuss that with them. By doing so, you avoid looking like the police and more like an open parent willing to discuss their teenage dating.
Teenage Dating and Mutual Respect
If your teenager is just beginning to date, more likely than not they have begun an innocent puppy love affair. However, even what seems to be the most innocent of teenage dating could be a violent relationship. Have an open discussion with your teenager about mutual respect in a teenage dating relationship. Establishing an open communication with your teenager will make it more likely that they will talk with you if there is any abuse.
Teenage Dating and the Sex Talk
The big question when teenagers begin dating is when will sex become and issue. Some teenage girls believe that they have to have sex just to keep a boy. This can be a sticky issue for the parents if they believe this could be happening. If your communication has been open with your teenager, discuss with them about the realities of sex. This can include safe sex practices to self-esteem issues stemming from teenage sex.
However, since many teenagers get their first impressions about dating from movies and TV many of them have certain ideas about what a relationship should be. Girls will think of the guys they want to date as romantic, protective, and very focused on her. Most girls will want a guy who know just what a girl wants and to read their mind. This usually means that girls are more worried that boys will not live up to their expectations and sex is just not as important to them.