How to give advice on dating to your teens

Dating is inevitable. It will happen eventually, and then it will continue for the rest of their life. In order for their experiences with dating to be smooth, safe, learning experiences, teens need sound advice from their parents. While they may not heed any unsolicited advice, teens still need to hear good dating advice.

Parenting is a difficult job. From the moment parenting begins, questions arise that plague the parent. When children are little, the problems tend to be little. As the children grow, so do the problems. This never stops. Once your children become teenagers, the latest wrinkle in parenting is how to dole out sage advice on dating.

When the time comes and your teenage children wish to become involved in the dating scene, there are several pieces of advice to offer forth that may help them to make wise and informed decisions regarding the dating process. Dating is a crucial part of growing up and maturing, accepting new responsibilities as you race towards adulthood. Teens need advice; this is where parents cannot err on the side of caution. Take the plunge and speak to your children. If you do not, they may seek guidance elsewhere.

Parents have little contact as it is with their teens once you factor in school, work, and social life. Teens are bombarded with media images all day long. It can be daunting for a parent to try and compete with the scads of images, songs, and shows that depict relationships. Teens need to be spoken to candidly by their parents. Do not pull any punches while giving advice on dating to your teens.

Advice is not always well received, especially when the romantic feelings have already begun, so parents and their teenagers need to have conversations about dating prior to the fact, so that some ground rules have been established, and a dialogue created.

Take things slowly

Parents should ensure that there is no exclusivity with dating at first, that the doors of rooms and the doors of communication are always open, teach their teen to just be themselves, that their teens know about give and take in a relationship, avoiding negative situations, the value of double dating, the birds and the bees, the danger signs of a bad relationship, the confidence to say no, how to dress appropriately, and that you serve as a role model.

Parents should encourage their teens to keep things slow at first. Intensity should not be part of the dating ritual when they are teenagers. Encourage your teen to take things slowly, at first at least, and keep all options open. The feelings experienced by teens when they first have crushes are overwhelming, and can lead to serious heartache.

Open and honest communication

Parents need to be an active part of their teen’s life, so make sure they are not sacrificing their time with you to be with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Keeping open the lines of communication is essential at this juncture in their life.

The open door policy is an absolute necessity for dating discussions. Not only should all rooms in the house remain open when the boyfriend or girlfriend is visiting, but the lines of communication need to be open as well. Your teen should be comfortable coming to you with any of their thoughts, concerns, hopes and fears. Do not judge them right away, rather hear them out and then sit with them and have a candid talk about which scenario is more prudent. Teens may be unaware of their role in the relationship, and may be giving more than taking, or vice versa.

Have a candid talk with your teen about dating. Get their input as to what they deem valuable and important. Let your teen explain the importance of certain aspects, and then hope that they will pay close attention to these things when they are dating. You and your spouse have provided the first model for them to learn from, so if your model was excellent, your teen will eventually be able to mimic your relationship. If you have provided a poor model, your teens may find themselves in unhealthy relationships.

Be yourself

Be yourself. This advice is invaluable. Teens, due to the horrific atrocities of peer pressure, have many facades. It is important that they are comfortable just being themselves. Your teen needs to know that they are a beautiful person just the way they are, and if that is not immediately seen by somebody, then that person was obviously not the right choice. Being true to who they are will serve them well for the rest of their life.

Give and take

In any relationship, there has to be give and take. One of the two should not dominate in any of these regards, so it is necessary for your teen to know just what is healthy in a relationship. Let your teen know that their opinion is valuable, and that they should be making mutual decisions that are in both of their best interests. This can help them to maintain some autonomy. You may also wish to encourage your teen to consider the benefits of double dating.

Steer clear of negative scenarios

Good dating advice for teens also includes teaching your teen to avoid negative situations. Parties, loitering around in public places, or going off alone somewhere are all dangerous ideas. Teens need to know that in some situations they may be asked to compromise their principles. Avoiding such situations is ideal, as it will also keep them from making poor, rash decisions that impact their future.

Group dating

Double dating can help the relationship progress slower, and offer more choice and flexibility in case one participant in the relationship is eager to move too quickly. With a double date, your teen can have strength in numbers if they feel that a decision may not be right. Your teen may also feel more comfortable talking with a friend than a parent, so this could help in that regard as well. Your teenager needs to know how to look out for the danger signs in the relationship.

Birds and the bees discussion

The birds and the bees can be an awkward discussion to have, but this is where the parent must take the initiative and lead the discussion. Teens may not know enough information about sex, and parents cannot allow the Internet to educate their children in this regard. The consequences of not having this discussion may have lifelong repercussions. An uncomfortable conversation may be much more pleasant than the alternative. Your teen should also know that they should never feel pressured to give in to sexual advances from their date. This can be a sign of love gone wrong.

Love gone wrong

Love can go wrong quickly, and the danger signs are usually prevalent, even though not always recognized. Teens need to know that pressures being placed upon them are wrong and should be ignored. They also need to know that love is not possessive or jealous. Teens should be able to feel carefree and happy when they are dating. They should be able to know that things are wrong if they do not see the same things in their date that they see in their parents’ relationship.

Presentation

Teens need to know how to dress appropriately for their dates. Parents must ensure that their teens are not giving off the wrong impressions based on their dress. The way you dress says a lot about your character, and teens do not need to be judged incorrectly. They need to have the confidence and wherewithal to say no in any situation. Standing up for what they believe in is of prime importance.

Role Model

Parents should be the role models that allow teens to date without fear and trepidation. You should model the proper behavior of a dating couple in front of your children so that they will know what to look for when they begin dating. You should always show the utmost of respect for your spouse, showing that their opinions and values merit as much worth as your own.

Parenting teenage children can be tough, especially when the dating scene arrives. You have to be just as ready as your teenager is, or else you may both find yourselves in bad situations. For the sake of their future, give your children all of the advice that they need to make wise decisions.