It’s the start of a whole new phase when your children start to think about romance. Here are some tips to help guide you through a potential minefield.
- Be the parent your teen will want to talk to
- Show genuine interest in what they think – be careful with lectures/giving advice
- They need our brains until theirs are fully online – don’t take your hands off completely yet
- Researchers tell us teens do take notice of what their parents think
- Encourage teens to keep active and busy – dating is only a part of life, not the whole
- Encourage group activities – be creative and supportive, e.g. provide transport, hosting, food!
- Aim high – have a checklist of qualities for a potential boy/girlfriend
- Decide on your boundaries ahead of time
- “What would you do if” helps prepare for the pressure/intensity of the moment
- How does your potential boy/girlfriend treat others?
- It’s a good indicator of their character
- Keep in touch with your mates – don’t be exclusive
- Be sensitive about break-ups – listen, support, don’t patronise
And if the wheels fall off?
- One mistake doesn’t need to mean more/doesn’t need to define you
- Don’t freak out
- Make a plan
- Learning opportunity – what will you do next time?
- Believe in them
- Restore your relationship with your teen
Great resources are Sex with Attitude by The Parenting Place’s Attitude team or The 6 Most Important Decisions You’ll Ever Make by Sean Covey – both available from our online store.