Tips for teen dating

It’s the start of a whole new phase when your children start to think about romance. Here are some tips to help guide you through a potential minefield.

  • Be the parent your teen will want to talk to
  • Show genuine interest in what they think – be careful with lectures/giving advice
  • They need our brains until theirs are fully online – don’t take your hands off completely yet
  • Researchers tell us teens do take notice of what their parents think
  • Encourage teens to keep active and busy – dating is only a part of life, not the whole
  • Encourage group activities – be creative and supportive, e.g. provide transport, hosting, food!
  • Aim high – have a checklist of qualities for a potential boy/girlfriend
  • Decide on your boundaries ahead of time
  • “What would you do if” helps prepare for the pressure/intensity of the moment
  • How does your potential boy/girlfriend treat others?
  • It’s a good indicator of their character
  • Keep in touch with your mates – don’t be exclusive
  • Be sensitive about break-ups – listen, support, don’t patronise

And if the wheels fall off?

  • One mistake doesn’t need to mean more/doesn’t need to define you
  • Don’t freak out
  • Make a plan
  • Learning opportunity – what will you do next time?
  • Believe in them
  • Restore your relationship with your teen

Great resources are Sex with Attitude by The Parenting Place’s Attitude team or The 6 Most Important Decisions You’ll Ever Make by Sean Covey – both available from our online store.