Being the parent of a teen is definitely not one of the easiest parts of life, but it is an important one. Once your “baby” has officially hit the teenage years, you will be faced with one tough decision after another. When your teen brings up dating (or if you suspect they are already dating and want to bring it up) you need to be prepared with what to ask and what your answers will be to questions they will ask you. Things might be a little awkward but it is best to lay everything out and make honesty the best policy in this case. These are some things you consider thinking over and/or asking your teen when you have the dating discussion with them.
What Does Your Teen Consider “Dating” To Include?
This is important for you to know as well as your teen to explain. Teens have different expectations of dating. Some may consider dating to mean walking around school holding hands while others consider going out to a movie to be dating. Getting to know what is going through your teen’s mind will be helpful for you to be able to mold the conversation towards their thoughts and feelings.
What Age Is Appropriate To Allow Your Teen To Date?
This is one you will have to decide without talking to your teen. You and your spouse (if there is a spouse involved) should talk about this together and decide when you want to allow dating to begin. Consider what you will allow and what things will take place. Most often, teenage dating begins between 14 and 16. You are the judge of your child, so you should set the age. Once the age is enforced, make sure you stick to your guns.
Should You Include The “Sex” Talk?
If you already think your teen is dating, this would probably be a good time to have the “sex” talk with him/her. While you know your teen better than anyone else, it is still important to make sure they have all the facts. Teen pregnancy is a reality as well as STDs. If you feel like this is to soon to be talking to your teen about sex, you should definitely reconsider the dating issue as a whole.
Will You Be Able To Chaperon Dates?
While your teen probably won’t be thrilled with this idea, it will be something that could be beneficial to you both. You will be able to see how the pair interacts and they will be able to see how you react with them being together. You could host dinner at your house or even a movie night with popcorn. This might even help open the door of communication between you and your son/daughter.
What Curfew Will You Set?
This is more for the older teens (16-18). When they go out on their dates, a set curfew will help make sure they are home at a decent time and not allow for overnights. While you can’t always be completely sure where they are at, you will at least know what time you can expect them home.