Establishing dating rules for your teenager

Teenagers are at a stage where they believe they are grownup to understand everything in the world. However, teenagers are still in need of care and guidance, as they’re not prepared for everything. In fact, they need more guidance now than ever before. While your teen may seem hostile and resistant to your parenting, it is important to still be a good parent to your teen. One area that is a worry for parents is dating. This is an important area where you need to enforce dating rules to ensure your teenager is happy and safe.

How do you enforce dating rules for your teenager?

The importance of dating rules

Your teenager is still young and has a lot to learn, even though she believes she is grownup. She is still in need of guidance, and she actually wants it, even though her attitude suggests otherwise. Every parent has different beliefs, which leads the rules you want to enforce. While you cannot stop your teenager from dating, you can ensure that it is safe. Decide on the rules that you want to enforce and consider how to best introduce the rules to your teen. The idea is that the rules need to be realistic without seeming harsh.

Choose the right moment

Your teenager may or may not be ready for dating, however, it is important that when she is ready she knows what’s what. If she isn’t even considering dating and you lay down the law she may not actually heed the advice given. However, it is no good wading in when she is already dating, as she is likely to be unimpressed. Dating should actually be an ongoing discussion; however, the rules need to come into play at the right time. The way in which you approach your child makes all the difference.

Friend or parent

You always need to keep the lines of communication open with your child. This means you need to be able to actively listen, be a friend and a parent without being judgmental. The parental role is vital; however, you also need to get into her world at times to be able to understand her more. Your friendship and guidance are crucial to your teenager through these trying years. She needs to be able to turn to you and open up to you about serious and not so serious matters. This keeps you in the loop and enables you to guide her in the way she needs it.

The dating rules

Consider what is and isn’t acceptable at this age, and discuss in an open and straightforward manner. Honesty and clarity are essential here. It is no good trying to dissuade your teen by elaborating and bending the truth. You may wish to enforce appropriate dating venues, time to be home and what is allowed. You want to make the rules clear, while ensuring that your teenager is going to adhere to the rules. Don’t go over-the-top and expect her to not date at all, as this is unrealistic.


You don’t want your teenager to find herself in an awkward situation, or get hurt. Let her know that dating isn’t just about physical intimacy, and allow her to understand that this comes at a later point in a relationship. She must explore a person’s personality and have time to get to know one another. A beautiful relationship is one that is built on friendship. Let her understand what love is, and when the time for intimate behavior is appropriate. Dating is about fun, whereas love and physical relationships are made to last.

Be prepared for questions

You may be surprised by your teen’s reaction to the open conversation of dating rules. She may have some questions or want further clarity on certain points made. This can cause you to feel coy and bring difficulties for you to give full answers to her queries. However, prior to communicating the dating rules with your teenager, be prepared and confident to answer all. If she has a question, it is important to give her a direct and honest answer. While it may be embarrassing, it is obviously something she wants and needs to know about.

Keeping tabs on your teenager is important no matter who she is with and where she is at. She must understand that for her safety she needs to be reachable and you need to know of her whereabouts. The agreed time for her to be home is to be a rule that is not compromised. Additionally, discuss what you deem as acceptable behavior in the early stages of a relationship. Let your teenager understand that it isn’t a race. Let her know that when she finds true love, everything can go at a slow pace to enjoy the relationship.