Talking to your teen about dating
At one point or another, your teen is going to show signs of being interested in dating. When that time approaches, you are going to have to figure out how you feel about your teen dating, besides the approach of your teen not dating until they are thirty. You are going to need to give some serious thoughts about how you want the dating thing to work out, such as how old they will need to be, group dating or not etc. While the plan not always work out perfectly, having some good ideas about it is essential before you can talk to your teen about dating.
Here are some tips to follow when talking to your teen about dating.
Be clear and upfront with your teen when talking to them about dating. Just because you start talking to them at the age of 12 or 13 that does not mean you are giving them permission to start going out on dates or giving them permission to date somebody.
Talk with your teen about the pros and cons of dating. You need to make sure that they understand that when they start dating it is going to start costing them money, but it is also going to take away from their time spent doing other things. Point out to them the activity that they love doing the most is going to get less time towards it because dating will take up a lot of their time. What you want your teen to realize is that dating just to say that they are dating or because their friends are doing it is not the right answer, they should only start dating when they are ready to start dating.
Begin to talk to your teen about the responsibilities involved with dating. When they start dating, they are now adding another person to the list of people that they have to treat with respect. You will want to make sure that your teen understands what your values and expectations are when it comes to them dating somebody. You should also ask your teen what they think, feel, or want in the way of permission for when it comes to dating. Just remember that your teens will learn by your example, so treat your spouse, as you would want your teen to treat their dates.
Share with your teen what you think is appropriate rules for dating. Talk to them about whether they will need to be going on group dates or if they can go out on dates by themselves. You should also explain to them about where it is acceptable to go on dates and where it is not acceptable to go. Do not be evasive about where they can't go, if you assume that they know what you are saying you are setting yourself up for disappoint. If you do not specifically forbid it, your teen is going to end up going there.
Make it clear to your teen that no matter what happens you will always be there to listen to them if they have any questions or if they just need a shoulder to cry on. The dating scene can be hard for anybody, and while your teen will want to make his or her own choices, you can still be there to offer advice on what you think should be done. Just do not make it seem like your teen has to follow your advice, be friendly about the advice, but allow your teen to make the final decision.