Some teenagers are allowed to have girlfriends and boyfriends from a very young age, even before they become official TEENagers. Whereas, other teens have to wait until they are upwards of 16, 17, or 18 before they date. For parents, it can be hard to allow your teen to take the step into having and exploring their love life. Ergo, this article offers suggestions on how to approach the topic of dating with your, often stubborn, teenager.
Talk About the Birds and the Bees First and Foremost
The birds and the bees talk should come long before dates and love interests. You know your child best, so you are the one to gage the best course of action when it comes to discussing the acts of love and lust with your teenager. Sure, they know what they hear at school or from friends, but you should impress upon them the practice of honesty and safety.
Make Sure Your Child Has a Firm, Realistic Idea of Love
Most teenagers fall into puppy love, which is a fairytale, fantasy version of lust. They think that true love psychic readings are the surefire ways to see their soulmate. The kisses, hugs, cuddles, and attention feel good, which releases the same endorphins that falling in love would release. With that said, these chemicals typically subside within a few weeks, making way for real thoughts of real love, which is usually where teens break up. Make sure your kiddo has a firm, realistic idea of love that goes past the sweet nothings, sexual intimacy, and obsessive behaviors.
Set Expectations and Make Your Rules Clear
Your teenager, like all teens, is probably stubborn and pushes the boundaries every chance they get. Luckily, if you set expectations and make your rules clear, most teenagers will comply to your requirements when they see your seriousness. Be sure to instill in your teen that actions have reactions, and their rule breaks, especially with your dating boundaries, could lead to fierce consequences.
Open Up a Freeway of Connection and Communication
When your teenager takes an interest in dating and love, you should take a deep breath and open up those lines of connection and communication. In order for them to talk to you about everything, you need to make sure you present yourself as a safe space—someone that will love and be honest with them, not berate and insult their date choices.
The most important thing to remember when approaching the topic of dating with your teenager is to not freak out. You always knew this moment would come. And, if that moment hasn’t come just yet, you should prepare with the aforementioned conversation tips.