The time you’ve been dreading has finally come; your teenager wants to start dating. As a parent, it’s tempting to just say “no” flat-out. After all, it’s tough for any parent to get used to this new stage in their child’s life.
However, it’s important to consider several factors when deciding if your teen should start dating. You both have some important responsibilities here, so let’s take a closer look to find out if you and your kid are both ready for this.
Pros And Cons Of Teens Dating
Before giving your teen the go-ahead to date, it’s wise to consider a few ways in which dating will potentially affect your child’s life.
Distraction is one of the biggest issues teens can face in this new stage. Is dating distracting your child from their homework, chores and even family life? If the answer is yes, it may not be a good time to date until they’re older and can maturely balance these different facets of their life.
Temptation is another hurdle for teens. Dating appropriately is certainly possible at this age, but there are some temptations they’ll face along the way. This is something we all have to face eventually; it’s simply a part of dating. Consider carefully if you think your teen is wise enough to make good decisions while dating.
Dating can be tricky as a teen, but it doesn’t have to be all bad, either. Many teens learn a lot about themselves by dating, and it gives them the opportunity to explore the world of romantic relationships in a safer, parent-supervised environment. It’s worth considering, too, that placing trust in your teen to date safely can be a healthy step toward becoming an independent, mature adult – as long as your child is ready for the challenge, of course.
Now it’s time to take a look at yourself and consider whether you’re ready for your teen to date. While your teen will have to tackle some challenges to become more mature, you have some responsibility here, too.
Your main job is to set reasonable and clear boundaries for your child. If you decide they can date, explain what the rules will be in terms of what types of dates are allowed and when parental supervision is necessary. Tell your teen under what conditions their dating privileges will be revoked. Making expectations clear from the get-go and sticking to your rules is essential for helping your teen date in a healthy, appropriate manner.
Besides setting the rules, be sure you talk to your child about what a healthy relationship looks like. Most parents already try to model that, but for a kid who hasn’t dated someone before, you’ll want to stress the importance of respect, communication, generosity and remaining true to yourself in a relationship.
If you’re a parent struggling to decide if your teen should start dating, pray and listen for God’s guidance. He’ll help you to parent your child in a way that leads them to a bright, happy future.
You may also be interested in 5 Simple Ways To Help Kids & Teens Grow In Faith