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Teen Dating Tips for Parents

So you have a pre-teen. Or a teen. Well, most parents, of course, use their own experience as a basis for what their teen might be like. You remember sneaking things past your parents; your teen won't get away with that! Or maybe you were your parents best friend and you don't think your teen could do anything wrong. But, no one knows how their teen will actually act and react. Cracking the whip could lead to rebellion from your teen. Or giving them too much leeway could result in them sneaking past you too many times. So what do you do when everything is already confusing and then their hormones make them bring dating into the mix?

Don't fret! Here are some things to keep in mind.

You made it out alive. For those of you who weren't exactly angel children, don't forget that you made it out alive! On the other end, for those of you who were angel children, don't forget that teens lie and sneak—it's just what they do. There isn't a single person that I know that hasn't lied to a parent at least once in their life.

Children and teens learn from experience, not from a simple no. If you have regrets you should definitely tell your teen about them to help keep them from doing the same thing. When it comes to dating, though, think of teens like Romeo and Juliet. You aren't going to prevent them from doing just exactly what it is that they want. But if you tell them about your regrets and phrase it as a story about yourself, not as a lecture, then your personal story may just give them the lesson they needed. Children and teens don't learn with a simple no. They want to know why. So if you give them your story about why this boy just isn't good for them, or why this girl doesn't have your best interests at heart, then it might just be enough experience for them. Think about it this way, they can either stick their hand in the fire or basically watch you stick your hand in the fire. Sometimes, reliving life's biggest hurts and mistakes can be a good thing.

Most teen relationships don't last. If you hate the new boy or girl that your teen brought home, don't worry! Don't forget that often, the "love of your life" in high school doesn't stay through the rest of your life. For those of you scoffing with your high school sweethearts, know that there are very few relationships that are mature enough to make it out of high school. The teens in the relationship simply aren't mature enough themselves to maintain that with all of the changes of life. So don't go crazy if your teen is dating someone that you can't stand. (But get to know their good side—just in case!)

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