How to talk to your kids about dating
A discussion on dating is also the time to explain your expectations, including curfews and rules such as knowing who your teen is with and where they’ll be at all times.
Despite their resistance, Johnsen says she has found in her years of working with teenagers that they do need – and often want – boundaries from their parents.
Keep in mind that intimate relationships actually start early in life with the development of friendships.
“Those are relationships that are based on trust, respect, honesty, communication and this is what we hope that not only emotionally intimate relationships but even sexually intimate relationships will be based on,” Michalopoulou says.
“I see dating as a conversation that starts early and it keeps building – parents keep adding building blocks on that conversation according to the child’s developmental, stage, age and needs,” says Dr.
Georgia Michalopoulou, chief of child psychiatry and psychology at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit.
Dating might have a different definition depending on your adolescent’s age and maturity level, so base your advice on your son or daughter’s current needs.
It’s understandable that as a parent, you might be worried about the outcome, but it’s important to know that your kids are likely feeling the same way.“We always want to follow their lead,” Michalopoulou says.The same dating rules apply for girls and boys, including teaching that “no means no.” Depending on the teen’s age, parents will also need to discuss sex, sexually transmitted diseases, the potential for sexual assault and the importance of mutual respect.Most teen relationships are relatively brief and, of course, end in breakup.Parents should be prepared to be empathetic and help their teen work through their emotions, keeping in mind that they might not get all the details on what happened.