Parenting advice for teenage dating

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Jan 2008 My 15 year old daughter informed me yesterday that she's been texting an 18 year old boy she met at the bus stop. At the time, I talked with her about ''the dangers'' while also validating how good it felt to have someone notice you etc. So, now they're texting and she's grinning and blushing and feeling all special . ) On the other hand, my saying that will only encourage her as she is seriously rebelling these days.She had told me about him a month ago, telling me that this really cute guy kept approaching her to talk with her. I tried talking with her about it but she was angry that I was ruining her fantasy and finally said ''Fine! '' which I trust about as much as I trust George W. Any feedback from parents who have been through this? Sign me as: conflicted mother My daughter started seeing a 15 year old boy (on the water polo team)when she was 15 and I had her keep her door open when he came over and requested that his parents do the same. I always ask her to be home by dark, no matter what she's doing, out of not wanting her to walk around alone at night because it's not safe. I offered to give him a ride home but he didn't want one.It’s not easy being a teen girl and not easy parenting one.More than previous generations, today’s teen girls face a daunting range of stressors that put them at risk for serious issues including self-harming behaviors, substance abuse, eating disorders, anxiety and depression.One is easy-going but private, sharing information with me on strictly a “need-to-know” basis.I’ve had to modify my natural communication inclinations and evolve specific skills that work with her.

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I know some parents who think it should be whatever age the teen wants to start dating at. What dating standards did you have for your own children?

They also consider whether the teens simply want to hang out and have fun with a friend of the opposite sex or want a hot and heavy romantic relationship. It’s to have very open communication about sex and love and dating and values.

The more you LISTEN to your teens and share (not lecture) your opinions and values, the more your teens can develop their own opinions.

I want to support her to start thinking through some of this for herself, but whereas she used to have very good judgment, these days she's running on low self esteem and hormones and I believe would follow anybody home who told her she had beautiful eyes. I talked to her about birth control and safe sex and she clearly was not ready. She went to his house once or twice, all when parents were home. When she has been out later with others I often pick her up (the joys of cell phones! I guess when there is another boyfriend I will want to meet him also.

( And yes, we've been addressing the low esteem for years.)She has no experience with dating. I say I could get behind that better if he would stop commenting on her physical beauty and if she would stop gushing. When she saw him I kept my cell phone on and when they were alone for the first time and he was pressuring her for sex, she called me and I picked her up immediately. I think it's a matter of what you are comfortable with and what she wants too.

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