It can occur in person or electronically and might occur between a current or former dating partner. Healthy relationship behaviors can have a positive effect on a teen’s emotional development.
As the first date approaches, discuss specific guidelines your family will honor. Do: Establish a general curfew for weekends and school nights. Don't: Insist that every date take place in your living room with you and your spouse. Dating is a completely new phase of life that must be learned. Trust God to protect your child and your influence in her life.
Do: Pray with your teen before the date arrives, if possible. Years of guiding your teen spiritually, emotionally, and relationally will pay off in the dating season.
You have to give her a Christ-focused lens through which to view the world. To keep your conversations on track: When you determine your teen is mature enough to date, celebrate! Here are some suggestions: Do: Meet all your teen's dates before they go out. (Watching movies alone in the dark is always a bad idea.)Do: Be available throughout a date in case your teen needs to be "rescued." Let your teen know that you can be reached at any time. It's always bad when a relationship ends and the parents can't let go.
The hard preparation will be worthy of a celebration. Don't: Put your teen's dates through the third degree. Don't: Call your teen three times during the date to check up. Don't: Grill your teen with a 1,000 questions about the evening. Do: Know exactly where your teen will be during the evening. Do: Host game nights, dinners, and after-church activities to get to know your teen's date. Don't: Force your teen to join a convent after a bad dating experience. When a teen starts to date, a parent's prayer life doubles.
Good news: Your teenager can maintain healthy, God-honoring relationships. You have the power to redefine dating for your teenager, using strategies that can help you and your teen to navigate relational waters.
Long before the first date, teach your child about dating.
Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime.
Teens often think some behaviors, like teasing and name calling, are a "normal" part of a relationship.
Teenagers still flirt, date, and fall in love - but with a whole new set of rules.