5 Truths Teens and Dating

There are some important things you should know about teen dating.
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The teen dating scene can be awkward and uncomfortable, for teens as well as their parents. Technology has changed the way teens date, and many parents aren't sure how to talk about dating these days.

Here are five things every parent should know: 

1. It Is Normal For Teens to Want to Date

While some teens tend to be interested in dating earlier than others, romantic interests are normal during adolescents.

Girls are more vocal about the dating interest and tend to be interested in a greater degree at a younger age, but boys are paying attention also.

There is no way around it; your teenager is going to want to date. When he/she does, you’ll have to step up to the plate with some parenting skills.

2. Teens Have no Idea How to Date

A teen does not learn how to date in the classroom and most likely has only picked up on some of the basics, like respecting someone’s personal space, at home. But without experience in a romantic relationship, teens don't know what to expect.

Talk to your teen about how real life dates don't mimic what might be seen in the movies. Instead, first dates may be awkward, but they can also be a lot of fun.

Today's teens spend a lot of time texting and talking to potential love interests on social media. For some, that can make dating easier because they may get to know one another better online first.

For those teens who tend to be shy, meeting in person can be much more difficult.

3. Teens Whose Parents Talk to Them are Better Prepared

Talk to your teen about your personal values. Be open with your teen about everything from treating someone else with respect to your values about sexual activity.

 

Discuss potential problems teens may face when entering the dating scene, like the pressure to become sexually active or the pressure to get involved in a serious relationship. 

Make sure your teen knows that just because he's ready to go on a date, doesn't necessarily mean he's ready for a relationship

4. Your Teen Needs a Little Privacy

Your parenting values, your teen's maturity level, and the specific situation will help you decide how much chaperoning your teen needs. Having an eyes-on policy might be necessary and healthy in some circumstances.

But make sure you offer your teen at least a little bit of privacy. Don't listen in on every phone call and don't read every social media message. Of course, those rules don't necessarily apply if you have major safety concerns, however. 

5. Your Teen Will Need Ongoing Guidance

While it's not healthy to get wrapped up in your teen's dating life, there will be times when you may have to intervene. If you overhear your teen saying mean comments or using manipulative tactics, speak up.

Similarly, if your teen is on the receiving end of unhealthy behavior, it's important to help out.

There's a small window of time between when your teen begins dating and when she's going to be entering the adult world. So you'll need to provide guidance that can help her be successful in her future relationships. Whether she experiences some serious heartbreak, or she's a heart breaker, adolescence is when teens learn about romance. 

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