A Parents Guide To Teen Dating
Teen dating is a huge issue in our country today.
As a youth worker I see the end result of dating gone bad. Parents if your teens are starting to get involved with the opposite sex more and more, you need to address their boundaries. Teens go off of emotions rather than the making a right or wrond decision. It is important for you to keep in communication with your teens as they mature. It has become more commonplace for parents to not stay connected with their teen due to a hectic lifestyle.
It is important in the dating cycle that you are a part of it. More and more of our teens are becoming pregnant at an earlier age. This translates to a lack of morals in our teens. I know life is so fast and we have so many commitments that seem to rule our lives. But I say take a moment and plan in at least an hour a day with your teen or at the very least a few hours a week. This will pay off dividends in the end for your teen later.
One thing you need to know is the better your relationship with your teen the better they will communicate. If you invest in your teen and show them you really care about their opinions, then they will be more likely to share their romantic issues with you. You will have to be very understanding and help them through the awkwardness of being a teen. They don't understand the emotions that pound through out their bodies. They become embarrassed easily due to this. Take your time with them. Create a safe environment for them to share these awkwardnesses. This will allow them to trust you. When they feel safe they will open up a bit more. Coach them with questions that demand a response other than yes, no or maybe.
Next educate them on dating. Give them some great ideas for dating. Group dating is a great way to make sure your child is safe and promotes friendship over lustful indulgences. Have them double date with you and your spouse. This gives them instruction on how to date correctly. Be honest with them about the consequences of premarital sex and STD's. Let them know that abstinence and purity keep you from unwanted pregnancies and STD's. If you are open and honest showing confidence in this type of conversation you will be more successful at getting through to them.
Through my learning I have found that when you boost a girls confidence she will be less likely to have sex before marriage. This really helps them have confidence in saying no and not being pressured to do something they don't want to do. Girls are wired to be accepted by boys and if they have low self esteem they will fall prey to the pressure that a male can push on them. They will be more likely to compromise their boundaries if they want to be accepted.
Boys on the other hand showed more likely to have sex if their confidence was boosted. Boys with higher self esteem show more confidence. I have seen this in my life with friends of mine who would complain about a guy being a jerk. But wouldn't leave him cause he had something they liked. Which was confidence. Girls like an alpha male over a submissive male. But what they need is a guy who can respect the boundaries. Guys need to understand that the hormones that are raging through their bodies is natural but they need to learn to control them.
By talking to your kids they will have a better understanding of the changes they will be undertaking. Be there for them when they need you. Listen to them before reacting. This is a mistake I see parents making all the time. I do the same thing with my kids. We need to listen and really understand what they are saying to us. Then we can make a better decision in our response. Hopefully giving them the information that will set them up for success.
I hope this can help you with your child. I hope that we as a community can lead our children to a brighter, safer future.