Your teenager jumping into the dating world = Every parent’s worst nightmare!!
Things are changing at my house. Boys are no longer considered, “Yucky.” Now they’re divided into two camps – “Yucky” and “He’s ok.” I’ve known this change was coming, but I’m scared about what’s on the horizon – dating.
I’m guessing that within five years my daughters will ask to go to the mall where they’ll meet up with some girl friends and probably “run into” some boys.
To assuage my fears I sought the advice of Mary Jo Rapini, a psychotherapist and co-author of the book, Start Talking: Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever, and asked her about kids and dating.
What is an appropriate age to begin dating?
The appropriate age is when the child is mature enough to have won the trust of their parents, and have interest in building a relationship. This usually happens around sixteen to seventeen years of age.
When kids first start “dating” where is a safe place to go – the mall? The movies?
A safe place to date is anywhere that is public but also assures time to talk and be listened to. Teens are more successful with relationships when they are doing something together. The single most important aspect of keeping a relationship alive for teens, or adults, is to be engaged in an activity they both enjoy. Things such as hiking, biking, arboretum’s, cooking classes, or museums are a favorite among many teens.
If mom and dad both work how can you ensure that your son or daughter don’t go home right after school and have sex?
Every parent should have a rule that no friends are allowed over if there is no parent in the house. That is an appropriate boundary, and there is nothing wrong with telling your kids this and enforcing it as well.
What should you say to your teen about sex?
Kids whose parents teach them about sex and talk about it raise kids who are better at delaying sex until they are much older and also understand the consequences of sex. Teach your teens to develop a relationship and don’t engage in sex until you are able to handle the possible consequences.
Why do boys want to date?
Boys are curious about girls and their bodies – that’s the primary reason. Secondly, boys want to feel grown up, popular, and dating provides both.
When meeting the girl’s parents – what should you say and do?
Before you date a girl, know what her parents do for a living, what your parents do for a living, and make it a goal to earn your date’s parents trust. Shake their hand, look them in the eye, and give them your cell, your parents’ cell and make sure you know the dating rules they have established for their daughter.
Should the parents meet?
Yes. Everyone is on the same team.
Are boys the victims of stereotyping – all they want is sex?
Boys secrete testosterone, which makes them seek novelty and sex. I do think there is a bit of stereotyping, but I see many boys today who are comfortable waiting, and valuing a relationship with a girl. I think the more the parents engage with their daughter’s boyfriend the more they can establish and encourage the teens to build a relationship on friendship rather than sex.
How important it is to be a lady?
Be vigilant about protecting your own body (and this includes your online profiles) and keep it healthy. This is the single biggest predictor of a confident and secure woman.
What motivates a girl to date?
A relationship is the primary reason girls date. They want the security of belonging to someone in a monogamous relationship.
How do you mend a broken heart?
Songs have been written about this. Surround yourself with loved ones and good friends who will help soothe the heartache. Try to write down what you are learning as you go through the heartbreak. The first one is the deepest.
If a girl is in an uncomfortable position how does she make it clear that no means no?
Mum’s have an opportunity to impress upon their daughters the importance of being the one in charge of her body. It’s a fact girls do have to be more responsible for birth control, STD’s, and possible pregnancy. But, there is power in being able to say, “No, I am not ready for sex at this time in my life.” Most of the guys I know will respect this, and may end up feeling more enamored with her then if she had said, “Yes.”