The running joke in your house may be that “no one can date until they are 35” to try and keep your teenager as innocent as possible. The truth is that teenagers usually begin to date in high school whether they go to school dances together, get asked to Sadie Hawkins, or go out to eat and to a movie with their latest crush. While this may make you nervous to see your “baby” all grown up, having a role in their dating life begins with how you approach them in this area.
Talk to them casually
As soon as they feel like you are criticizing them or lecturing, you may lose the chance to extend them any advice. Be light with your conversation by sharing funny stories of what it was like when you were dating. This type of banter can be helpful to start a dialogue with your teenager to help develop their stance on dating.
Pass on your core beliefs and standards
Although your teenager may not always follow your lead on things, this is a good opportunity to give the lowdown on how they should act on a date. Your teen may not appreciate your input on this subject because it may be uncomfortable for them. You can plant the seeds of morals, proper etiquette, and any tips on how to begin a loving relationship while remaining celibate.
Be open to what they say
Let your teen come to you with what they are feeling even if you are now the one who feels awkward. If you dismiss the feelings and questions of your teens, their inquiries will not just go away. They will find someone else to feel in the gaps for them in a way that may go against your principles. Answering what you can may help them stay on the path you recommend if you continue being objective with their thoughts and ideas.
Communication is key
Teens may shrug off what their parents say on a regular basis because that is a normal characteristic of the age. Your main goal is for them to hear what you have to say even if they seem to blow you off. Do not give up on your first discussion because this should be an ongoing topic, so they can learn how to have healthy relationships with someone they are attracted to. Continuing to teach your kids is beneficial for them to grow into the respected young adults you want them to be. Giving them your insight should be a never-ending process in which you should to find the right way to express your love and support in these important situations.
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center leads the way with progressive, evidence-based programming to most effectively treat each individual adolescent while focusing on the uniqueness of each client. Healing the mind, the body, and the spirit as one in the same can make the biggest difference in staying sober.
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