Your daughter arrives home from school practically floating on air. If you look closely, you believe you can see about three inches of light between her shoes and the floor. You know something exciting has happened. After a few minutes of coaxing, you get it out of her: that first-chair saxophone player from band she’s been pining over for a moth has finally noticed her back. Even more exciting: they are “hanging out” on Saturday night! Her very first date!
She’s 16, which is what your family agreed is an acceptable age to start dating. Nevertheless, she seems young to you. You’d like to give her advice, but you know that anything you say may be met with the oh-so-endearing eyeroll. Communicating with a teenager isn’t always the easiest thing in the world to do.
You remember your own teenage years: Would you have welcomed your mom’s unsolicited advice when it came to your own teen relationships? Now that you’re in the parent role, you know how important it is to talk to your daughter about dating. So, where do you start?
Teen dating has changed since you were that age. Probably the first thing to understand is that the term “dating” has largely been replaced by “hanging out.” Like dating, “hanging out” offers teenagers the chance to get to know each other a bit better outside of the confines of school, clubs or church. Hanging out can be done one-on-one or in groups. (A great start would be to brush-up on Teen Dating 101.)
On the other side of the coin, your daughter is young, inexperienced, and really, really likes this person. Because of where she is in her life, she may be willing to overlook red flags.
It is important for teens to recognize unhealthy dating behaviors. As her parent, you need to ensure that your daughter understands what kind of teen behavior is OK when it comes to dating and what is not, including:
Sometimes, just letting them know you're always available is enough. “I didn’t date much in high school. So, I really didn’t know what advice to give,” dad Jack Stemper, the father of two daughters, now 21 and 24, told Mom.com. “I left that up to their mom! But I always told my girls that whatever happened, they could always come to be. And I would never judge or make them feel bad. I wanted them to know I was there for them.”
Stemper’s openness to listening to them — even if he had nothing to add to the conversation — not only helped foster a special closeness with his girls, but also turned out to be the best way to handle another first: his oldest daughter’s first heartbreak.
“Sometimes, you don’t need to say anything at all,” Stemper said. “She just wanted a hug.”
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I think the conversations about dating should be started much earlier. Teenagers already dating actively. So they should know in advance what to expect and what mistakes to avoid. A teenager can start dating online https://hookupapps.dating/ . It is a good chance to enhance your communicating skills. So there are many ways to explain your child about dating.
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