Even though we may try to ignore the fact, our children are growing up. And with that comes dating. Since ignorance doesn’t make it go away, there are things you can do to help make it easier for them and for you.
Talk to them about what good makes up a good relationship. For many teens, media might seem like a good source of dating information but it really isn’t. It isn’t realistic and doesn’t necessarily demonstrate what it is like to be loving and supportive. It also helps to set a good example with your own relationship with your significant other.
Don’t stop talking to your teen about relationships when they start dating. Since dating doesn’t always go as one hopes or plans, your child needs to have someone he or she can talk to about problems as they arise. You can’t remind him too often about how he should be treated or treat others.
Be kind to your teen’s date when you meet him. It can be hard not to lecture another child about rules and responsibilities but the person who needs that talk is your teen. It’s her job to respect the rules. Only intervene if you think your child is in danger.
Not sure what the danger signs are? Here are some tips of a potentially unhealthy relationship:
Symptoms of depression
Signs of physical abuse
Constant contact – visits, texts, phone calls
Constantly having to check in
It can be difficult to see your child getting close to other people and dating but if you take the time to explain what good relationships are and listen to what your teen says about his own relationships, you can help him make good decisions.