Teen relationships are often quite quaint and innocent, but it’s true that they can have quite important consequences and depending on the age of your child, must be managed appropriately. Of course, there’s a difference between your sixteen-year-old teenager ‘dating’ someone they like, compared to a nineteen-year-old able to make their own decisions when it comes to relationships.
As a parent, however, it’s important to ensure our children are capable of making those decisions well, and where we feel that they need instruction or outright discipline regarding this thanks to your own sensibilities as a parent, it’s important to know how to apply that properly.
Some of the more sensitive considerations here we will leave up to your discretion as a parent, as every mother and father sets the tone for what they’re comfortable with, how they teach safety, and what that means for monitoring the dating couple. In this post, we’ll discuss how to make sure principles are applied to ensure this relationship takes place safely, with respect, and without pressure or unnecessary mistreatment. With that in mind, please consider:
Self-Respect & Boundaries
It’s important to make sure your child is totally confident in their self-respect and can apply boundaries where the relationship is concerned. This can help them understand how to be very upfront with the terms of dating, as well as avoiding issues like just assuming they can vacation together without your approval, or feeling obliged to partake in anything they’d rather not do.
If you can be open and a point of trust about this, your child will be more likely to confide in you should a problem arise.
Following The Rules
Of course, some home rules may be in place if they bring over their girlfriend/boyfriend. This might involve ensuring that they spend time with the family, that the door stays open, that they don’t head to parties you don’t approve of. It’s hard to get our teenagers to follow every single one of the rules we set forth, but showcasing why this is important and being respectful can go a long way, and will reveal to your teen that you only have their best interests at heart.
Comforting Date Ideas
Of course, it’s important to stress to your teen that teenage dating shouldn’t be serious, or overly intensive, or too life-spanning. There’s a chance that as they head to college, they may not see each other as much. For that reason, light fun should be on the table at all times, such as sharing the best dates for teenagers ideas instead of having them make long term plans right now before they’ve even reached full adulthood.
This can be hard to express to a teenager, so revealing some of your own experiences with teen dating at their age can help bring the lesson home. This way, you can allow such a relationship to continue with care, knowing both sides are reliable and respectable, and that your families can get on.
With this advice, we hope you can teach your child responsibility when it comes to relationships.