Have you had the gross unique pleasure of hearing your teen say that they have a girlfriend or boyfriend? Did you feel the blood rush through your veins or were you cool as a cucumber? Teen dating is nothing new as it has been going on since forever. The methods and applications used to carry out such concepts is much more complex than what we had growing up. Snapchat, Instagram, dating apps and more were not even something we would have thought of to begin or continue using to date someone. Like why?
Nevertheless, it is happening and it can sometimes be uncomfortable for us parents, especially us Moms. As I said in part one and two of my teen dating podcast, having an established relationship with your teen and maintaining it is the key to being able to have open access to your teen’s dating process(es).
Here are a few things to think about when establishing a relationship with your child:
It’s not too late. Even though it appears that the line of communication has been severed, you can still make the attempt to reconnect.
Don’t be overbearing. You may want to know everything that is going on and the anxiety may take you through the roof but if you try too hard or come off too strong it may shut them down and make them wonder why you want to know so much so badly.
Remember the goal. The goal is to establish, or build strategically, a relationship by showing that you hear, understand, and can be trusted with the information shared.
Be prepared for what you may learn. I added a little extra emphasis on this because you have no idea what your teen may be going through or has been through at times. Some information may catch you by surprise or even cause you immense pain. Take the time to study things that teen parents are going through and see how they responded. It may help you in the process
Those are just a few things to think about when getting your relationship at a good place with your teen. It is definitely not an exhaustive list. The key is to establish the relationship so that you can be a guide to your teen as they grow and develop even beyond just dating.
When we think of dating, here are some things that should come to mind:
Is my teen mature enough to handle uncomfortable conversations or situations?
Your teen’s ability to be confident and firm in times when someone is attempting to force them to do something undesirable is important.
Does your child know what to do if they are in a dangerous situation?
What if the person they met on social media is not who they say they are when your teen is alone with them? Here is a basic thing your teen can do to alert bystanders that they are in danger. Can your child read body language?
Does your teen have enough time to take on dating?
Your teen may have a heavy schedule and dating may be the one thing that throws them off of their schedule. Help your teen to have balance and understand what it takes.
Have you taught or even demonstrated how your teen should treat someone they’re dating?
A gentleman should know how to treat a young lady and a young lady should know how to treat a gentleman. Right along with that is the fact that both should know how to carry themselves like the lady or gentleman that they are.
Because I believe in sharing what I have found on my own, I am putting some other links below for you to read at your leisure. As parents, we do not have all the answers but we want to be informed.