Your tween or teen is going through so many physical and emotional changes during adolescents. A big one can be having sometimes confusing! These crushes are completely normal, and another exciting part of growing up. But managing those crushes, and an interest in dating, can be tricky as a parent. Try the following four tips to help your teen successfully and safely graduate from puppy love to formal dating.
Like a garden that looks manageable one day—then overgrown with weeds the next—adolescent boy-girl socializing Tween girl dating advice go from innocent to ardent, mild to wild with little warning. According to Jeanne Elium, author of Raising a Family Celestial Arts Publishingparents should discuss dating with kids before the subject becomes sensitive, laying a foundation of communication.
Stories about how parents met can initiate discussion. Confide what parts of dating were positive, scary, embarrassing, fun. Kids as young as 10 and 11 may talk of "boyfriends," "girlfriends," or "going together.
Demeanor," a syndicated column that answers teens' etiquette questions. Avoid parties that pair kids as couples. Participation in youth groups and coed athletics lets boys and girls mingle in low-key ways. Such experiences reduce their awkwardness when they later date.
By age 14 or 15, kids may ask to date "solo" for example: This age also brings new anxieties. The move to solo dating calls for creativity and nimble negotiation to balance your concerns for safety with teen's increasing appeals for independence.
One strategy is to curb unsupervised, solo dating while providing well-chaperoned group get-togethers. Planned activities provide focus, relieve self-consciousness, and allow teens to hone social skills.
Marcy Bice, 16, says that most teens in her Illinois high school move in and out of relationships lasting from a few weeks to several months. The casual, group trend has rendered the traditional solo dating rare, she explains, though kids still pair up for dances.
Formal occasions, such as proms, call for plenty of protocol. Parents can help by anticipating—and teaching—skills needed to survive the "big date" with self-esteem intact.
We laugh a lot, and it gives me a chance to go over the corsage, the restaurant, saying good night. And practice makes perfect—or at least less clumsy.
Fathers can watch for opportunities to offer their daughters gestures of courtesy: Don't let the junior prom be the first time your daughter experiences a door held for her. Is it OK for girls to ask boys out? The Bice teens allow for a little more flexibility: The money part gets worked out mutually, in advance.
Your tween or teen suddenly has feelings for a special someone! What should you do as a parent to help your kid maneuver through this often confusing time?
Discuss Your Dating Stories Like a garden that looks manageable one day—then overgrown with weeds the next—adolescent boy-girl socializing can go from innocent to ardent, mild to wild with little warning. Find out how your children learn about relationships. Skip Pairing in Pre-Dating Kids as young as 10 and 11 may talk of "boyfriends," "girlfriends," or "going together.