As a parent, you know that you cannot ban your teenager from dating. Everyone is doing it. Some teenagers are having multiple sex partners.
Your teenager is living in a different world from you. Instead of prohibiting your teenager from dating, it is your job as a parent to prepare your teenager to date responsibly.
Your child is likely to get interested in relationship problem as early as 8 years old. Whenever the opportunity offers, broach the subject of dating.
Do make it known that while dating is not wrong, irresponsible behavior is not permitted. You should set down some basic rules andapplied to all your children. You should make know the proper dating age for group and single dating.
Do apply the same standard to all your children. You should not allow your oldest child to go on a single date at age 16, and the youngest child at age 14.
You can formalize your expectation. Write out the rules and expectations on a piece of paper, and get your child to sign on it. Get your child to commit to proper behavior.
Talk to your child about sex, morality issues, AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy issues. Do not give false information. Do give accurate information and explain the consequences of irresponsible sexual behavior.
Do not be shy about it. If you, as a parent, do not talk about all the seriousand sensitive issues, your child will learn from outsiders. Outsiders are not likely to offer accurate information. Friends of the same age group are immature, and like to boast about sexual behavior. You do not want your teenager to learn from them.
Do use the real life examples to teach your child. Teach your child the proper way to react in difficult situations. Answer any question from your child honestly. Keep the communication open. Your child should know that you are open to discussion anytime.
Your child should feel comfortable talking to you about his or her feelings towards a certain individual. Learn to listen attentively and do not judge your child. Do not say “how can you be so stupid?” You are forcing your child to act rebelliously once you say that.
If you need to control your emotion, particularly your anger, do end the discussion immediately. Just say that you need time to think about it. Sleep over it and resume the conversation the next day.
Talking to teenager about dating and sex is not easy. However, you are saving your child from a lot of headaches and relationship problems. The time and effort is worthwhile.