When should you intervene in your teen's dating life? What are some tips for approaching your teenager about who they are dating?
Is there an age you have in mind for when you daughter can start dating? What other factors would you consider besides age?
I have two daughters 17 and 19. I think our kids will either do things with our knowledge or do things secretly behind our back so it's more important to work and compromise with our kids. Instilling morals and high self esteem in our daughters from when they're toddlers ensures smarter more mature choices later when it counts I've found. I don't think age is much of a factor as is their individual state of mind and maturity level. For instance my older daughter maintained A grades from Pre-school to High school and was even valedictorian, she's got 3 jobs, in college and very responsible, kind and giving to everyone but when it comes to boys her judgement is off.. she picks types I don't approve of, bad influence types so I must say I don't trust her judgement when it comes to boys. My younger daughter on the other hand is the opposite.. she's not gullible to the lines boys feed her. Her judgement is keen when it comes to relationships and she has a high self esteem so doesn't let her relationships define or influence who she already is.. she is the influencer in her relationships.. she stands by her morals boldly and proudly displays her purity ring. She does have a bf now but she calls the shots in the relationship and doesn't compromise who she is. For these reasons I totally trust her more then I trust my older daughter so that's why I say it's not about age, it'sa state of mind. Either way.. our daughters come in contact with boys at school or wherever so naturally they will want to explore.. as parents we should keep the communication open always and be involved in every choice made. I personally met each boy before I gave permission to date. I took him aside and spoke privately with him and told him about our morals and how I've raised my girls to be.. I told him how I expected him to only be a positive influence in my daughters life or I wouldn't allow the relationship to continue.. I basically let him know he was on probation. Then I start with the rules.. when he comes over to visit they are not allowed to shut the door. I allow him to come on family vacations, family get togethers etc. but they are never alone. If they drive and go somewhere my daughter has to tell me exactly where she is going and I tell her when to be home and she CANNOT be late. He cannot text or use his phone while driving my daughter. If I call her cell or text her at ANY point she must answer immediately. If they go to his parents house I make sure his mom or dad or someone is there also. I meet his parents too and have them all on my facebook so I can monitor his activities and see his real personality with his friends. I never allow them to be alone and prefer they do group dates with other friends for now. If they cannot respect my rules I told them I won't support the relationship and WILL put a stop to it. It seems to work so far for my younger daughter. My older daughter is just too busy with college and her jobs so she just has a lot of friends.
I agree with looking at maturity level rather than a number. I also do not think there should be a difference between boys and girls. This is 2012 and things are VERY different from what they used to be. So, you should also try to keep up with what is reality and not just assume that it's just like when you grew up.
Dating is part of growing up. Finding out what one wants in a relationship. It doesn't have to end badly or in marriage. Keep the lines of communication open. Tell them about potential dangers. Make sure they are informed about what it means to have a sexual relationship. They need to know how to keep themselves safe. Make sure they have the self respect to know when they want to go down that route. Don't always just assume the worst. But, remember, teenagers will find a way of doing what they want to do, if you want or not. Too many restriction will backfire. Can you remember being that age? Think about it. Talk to your kids about your good and bad decisions. What it comes down to though, is that they will have to make their own decisions. They should be informed decisions. You can guide them only to a certain point. Then you need to trust them to find their own way.
I understand that religion comes with its own set of rules when it comes to dating and first sexual encounters. But, teenage hormones aren't terribly impressed by it. So, educate your kids about sexual safety. It's NOT going to make them run out and sleep around. It will help them make informed decisions for themselves as young adults. Just saying.
Every child is different. Mom and Dad, God entrusted her to you. Don't go by what the "crowd" does, make it personal.
The fact of dating is risky when a child wants to "date", because they feel they are old enough. If your child exemplifies maturity and has great open lines of communication with you her parent, chances are she will make wise choices. Best thing to do is to sit and talk with her about her motives (are they Christ-centered) and be able to speak into her life about possible motives of the men she will date.
If she refuses to open up or have an attitude, you already know, she is not ready.
I married at 17 and I had so much more to learn (even now I continue to learn).
I am still depending on Christ and I'm married to the same man I vowed 37 years later. I raised 2 children; 1 girl, 1 boy. They each have Christian spouses; my daughter married the 1st man she dated and they serve as Missionaries in Germany. My son began dating at about 25, married at 32 and they have a beautiful baby boy and is our Worship Leader.
Whoah. Holy rollers, Batman! I've nothing against you, my Christian brethren, you frequently raise some damn fine children, however... When it comes to kids dating, my opinion, (I've written an article on this, too, one of my most popular, actually,) I say the younger, the better! Let us redefine the term, "dating" though. Girls, especially, need to start being able to suss out what they want in partner for life. Many of you, who are Christian, have said that they will not allow their children to date until they are ready to marry because dating = marriage = having kids and being the good Christians you've raised them to be. Awesome. But how, how does someone know what they need & want from a partner if you take away the first ten years of their dating experiences out of misguided distrust. This isn't the biblical era anymore, kids aren't getting married at 12. Nor do they usually have the kinds of support / community that they had back then of knowing (and growing up) with everyone around them, being able to pick their partner, or have their partner pick them out of a village of 20 or so viable candidates. Your kids have been coming to me asking for advice on how to pull one over on Mom & Dad's eyes, so they can continue to date despite their parents archaic restrictions. Of course, I don't give them advice to go out and do whatever they like... I tell them they need (as their parents do,) to redefine the role of dating. The first thing I recommend is to get to know the family. As parents, we want what is best for our children, so a "date" (triple-threat style,) is a great place to start. Call the young man or woman in questions parents and set up a dinner (or host one at your home,) for the parents / kids. Everybody goes. This way you as parents get to see how your children interact. As your children get older, allow group dates, (even sneakily under your supervision,) say the kids want to go to X movie. Well ten minutes after the movie starts showing you show up and take a back row seat to keep an eye on them and see how your child interacts with the group. Getting to know how your child copes with peer pressure and temptation can be invaluable tools for imparting your beliefs onto them. Kids are going to date. Keeping them from doing so only stunts their growth as a mature individual. It's not usually the kid who was allowed to date who gets knocked up early and drops out of school, it was the kid who was given know knowledge to arm themselves, no support from parents in their most important aspect of life that ends up this way.
I think the real question is what is the purpose of dating? Is it to practice divorce at an early age? You know, break-up with this person move on to that person. I'm a Christian so my children won't date until they are marriage ready. I have three boys and they will not be dating until they are spiritually mature, able to provide for themselves and a family, and truly understand what they are called to be and do as husbands and fathers. It will be the same when or if we have daughters in the future. I'm more concerned right now about their spiritual state; getting them to realize a relationship with God is more important than any other relationship they will ever have. If kids aren't ready for marriage then what is the purpose of them dating?
18 is a good age they are an adult. The whole idea of dating is finding your life partner.
When you feel you are are emotionally ready to cope with a messy break up or marriage as every relationship ends in the one way or the other ;)
Our 15 year old has decided to not date but to rather court once she feels there is a man that she feels she may very well marry - so we don't expect this to happen before she's at least 18. The boys took a while to accept her stand but now they know she's not "on offer" she has many great friends and says she has so much more fun than her dating friends.
I would recommend giving your children the book I kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris
Our rule is that dating is preparation for marriage and you aren't ready for marriage until your education is completed. You can begin courting when you are 2/3 of the way through your college education. My children are boys 19 & 17 and girl 17, none of them have dated. My boys are in college and my daughter is a high school senior. They understand the importance of not tying themselves to multiple people and giving away a piece of their heart. Dating when you are not considering marriage just adds baggage and unnecessary heartbreak to your child's life. My children are thankful that we have guarded their hearts and taught them how to do the same.
I think that more important than setting an age for dating is to instil principles and morals beforehand. I personally don't 'believe' in dating, instead I embrace the more old fashioned idea of courting. A serious relationship with the opposite sex, in my opinion, should be a preliminary to marriage. Unfortunately I have seen way to many young girls use dating as an escape from difficult family situations, or personal insecurities.
Anyway, what I am trying to say is that if a young girl has a proper view of what the purpose of dating/courting is, then you and she will know.
My response would go something like this..."So, you want to date? Are you ready to get married in the near future? If the answer is no, then please do you yourself a favor and don't waste his time or yours. If you are not ready to get married, then I encourage you to live, and enjoy your life enriching it with as many experiences as possible until you are ready to marry, and when you feel you are ready to marry, then make you sure you have set a standard high enough to last the rest of your life! Please, don't date just for the sake of dating...or just to know what it 'feels' like to have someone like you."
I really do think it depends on the person, we all have different life experiences, and we are ready for things at different ages. I really do think we need to look a our teens and go by who they are, but remember that having open communication goes a long way. My oldest was 15, she felt ready, she was dating him for 2.5 years, yes we had to deal with a broken heart, but talking through this helps. She has been with her current boyfriend for just over 2 years, and there is talk of marriage, but not for a few years. She is 20, and very cautious.
I was 16 when I started dating. I think I would judge it based on my daughters, my older one is quite mature, but gets hurt easily. Younger one is more immature, but everything rolls off her back, not much gets her down for long. They are 9 & 6 now, so I got a few years yet. Also, I would sit down and talk to them, find out what they consider dating before making that call - older is better though.
I am torn too, the world I am raising them in is so different than what I was raised in; we live in a large town (12,000), whereas the community I grew up in had 1500 people. The same kids started playschool together and graduated grade 12 together, mine do not have that same core group.
i started dating at age 9
When they are on their own. First of all, you can't shack up with some kid in our house. Second of all, I don;t want another kid hanging out around my house, I am raising enough of them. If he wants to pick her up and go to dinner or movies, that's one thing but hands on hands and lips on lips.
16 is the best time. At 16 your body starts to change the most. Things to make sure of: Make sure the boy she wants to date has a background check, Make sure the boy she wants to date is her same age or only 2 years over her age, Make sure the boy she wants to date has no crimal record, Make sure the boy she wants to date does not touch her any where close to her privates or touch her in a way that makes her feel uncomfortable, Make sure the boy she wants to date does not have his own car drive them to the dating place to ask small questions to the boy.
I did not allow my daughter to date until 16. For one, she did not have a car nor did her boyfriend until that point and even after. Two, she was just beginning to get interested in dating. Three, We had to know the boy before she went out with him. Four, we had to take them on dates as they did not drive yet. Five, there is no reason to date earlier than that anyway.
I think it depends on your daughters maturity level, her ability to stand up for herself in tough situations, and what type of dating scenario she is interested in. I was not aloud to date until I was 16. And I think it was an okay decision on my parents part. I could have benefitted from more practice in one on one social situations. And I certainly could have used a little more time playing the field before 16. But overall, I understand that my parents choice was to protect me from a few things that I wasn't ready for, even at 16. If you think your daughter can handle all the highly emotional parts of dating, the temptations that come with being alone with someone, and is responsible to make good choices for herself let her try it out.
A good rule of thumb, for everyone venturing out into the dating word, there is security in larger groups. My Dad was very encouraging of the large group dates. ;~)
7th grade. There are a lot of fun group activities they can do. (Oh yes, and I am driving) These relationships are important for healthy development. It helps them discover what they do and don’t want in a long-term relationship. And yes, they learn how to deal with disappointment and heart break.
Atleast age 16, so they can drive and get away from a situation if they need to.
Group dating in upper elementary/middle school. High school is good for unchaperoned dating
My daughter are all grown. I did not know it but my wife made an agrement w/daughter to only group date until out of high school. This worked well since they were all involved with G. Scouts and church groups. They did a large variety of activities and didn't feel left out. The deal was that dating before getting out of HS would interfere w/school
I have an 11and14 year-old daughter. I told them they have time after high school to look for a boyfriend. That the last thing they needed was to through what I went through. I love my kids and told I would never have changed them for the world, but would their father in a heartbeat. I'm honest with my kids and expect them to be the same way with me.
To me it is not an issue of age,but maturity. If I have a daughter that isn't mature, whom I can be assured understands limits and consequences and the difference between right and wrong, then I may hold off on allowing her to date. I have three daughters all of which have different personalities and maturity levels. The other issue is group dating versus single dating. I came from a culture in which girls did not date without a chaperone. Not something I would necessarily do to my own child. I do shuttle my kids to the mall and the movies with their friends and I stay (not with them, but in the vicinity). They are aware that I could come upon them at anytime and thus do not tend to act inappropriately as some kids do when away from their parents.
Spending more time with your kids
Shearing your thoughts about consequence for every behavior when they still young.
Love your children unconditionally.
Watch them closely daily life, showing your loves and the examples.
Never spoil your kids, give them what they need not what they want.
Educating them through the school is not enough, showing your faith with God.
Follow Jesus steps , I promise you they will make a wise choice when they're ready.
I have to admit that I am impressed with the age your daughters are and the way your youngest continues to honor your rules. I have two girls 10 & 13. I am finding that regardless of the standards and values we have tried to Iinstill that and believe me we do continue to try, that peer pressure and the standards she sees at school are becoming a constant source of controversy in our home. The comment was made that they will do what they will do. We have a lot of the same rules in our home. Group outings with friends, boys hang out downstairs and not behind closed doors. Getting to know her friends and their parents. We have set 16 as the age we believe single dating should be allowed. We believed that communication with our daughter was open and honest especially about boys until we found out that she had a boyfriend at school that was never mentioned at home. It came to or attention when a school dance was happening at the school and she was asked to go. All of a sudden she was faced with having to ask permission to attend this dance with a boy she was seeing at school without our knowledge and she was going to have come clean with us. It caused some anxiety. We were very lucky in this situation, because the morals and values we had been trying to instill had done their job and the "seeing each other" had been limited to hand holding, talking, and maybe a few kisses. What we had to address was the lack of honesty and lack of communication that there had been between we as parents and our daughter. Another thing we had to address was the kinds of influence that her friends were having on her. Somehow she got the impression that what we didn't know wouldn't hurt us and it was definitely wasn't hurting her so it was Ok. It forced us to re-examine some of our parenting styles and to take our heads out of the sand. Our daughter is a good kid and has so far not caused us any real problems, but what we learned from this experience is we needed to ask more questions about her friends and what goes on at school. We also learned not to assume that everything is as it should be just because we haven't heard other wise. We have had to put a few more rules in place that we hadn't realized were necessay and most of all step up our communication skills with our kids. You can state rules and expectations, but without rules and follow through. None of it means anything
We set 16 for our girls but it also depends on the situation. For school dances 15 with a strict curfew (homecoming, prom, etc...). Actual dating 16 with strict curfew. The girls always had cell phones and if they changed plans during the night they would call me and tell me where they were going or ask permission. We weren't naive about what could happen but we hoped we raised them right enough that they would make good choices.
I think this question presupposes a social structure that doesn't exist anymore, and hasn't for some time. Most early "romantic" and even sexual relationships form among young teens without dating ever coming into play, long before they're thinking in those terms or most of those below have indicated they'd let their kids date. The real answer has nothing to do with picking a time at which to allow a specific type of social event, but to know your kids and their friends and how they're actually interacting with one another in middle school and sometimes even before. They don't care when you decide to allow them to formally get picked up and taken out to a movie or dance, and they're not waiting for that big event to pursue their romantic lives.
The rule for dating in my house for both boys and girls is 16, no dating before then. I also expect any boy dating my daughter and the rule applies to my son as well to come to the door, meet both of us and be respectful. I also want to know where they are going and make sure my daughther has her cell phone and cash incase of an emergency. If a boy won't come to the door and meet us then he has no respect and I feel he wouldn't treat my daughter with respect. We also have a midnight curfew for those under 18.
HI,, I haven't face that sitation yet but i've been thinking on that too soo according on my little research and point of view i think that an appropiate age to let your child go on a groupal date is 16, but of course it depends on what kind of friends or boys are them... dating is a serious topic and before u let u'r child be on a date u have to talk very seriously with her beacuse sometime they want to experience new things and there is when sometimes accidetns happend anyway u must be sure what kidn of boy u'r child is gona be and suggest u'r daughter to go to places that are full of people and that she never let the boy guide her into a quiet or solitary place... btw i think that 18 is just the perfect age for having a serious date and relationship.....
My daughter had to read "Boundaries in Dating" before she could date at the age of 16, she even had a young man in mind she wanted to date and who wanted to date her, so he voluntarily read the book as well. They started dating when she turned 16, most of their dates were chaperoned, their choice..six years later they are still together, she's in college and he's working two jobs saving to buy rings and a down payment on a home.
Statistics show the younger a girl starts dating, the sooner she starts having sex, thus the greater chance of a teenage pregnancy or abortion..
Three of her best friends in high school started dating at 13, one got married, had a baby and graduated high school the same year. Another one of her friends quit school to get married, and another got married within days of graduation and had a baby within the year.
Is it 1912 or 2012. In so many ways I agree with this post. It is not about age but maturity. Instilling children with high self esteem and a good moral compass is vital. BUT interviewing the poor boys first. REALLY?
As the Mother of a 21 year old boy and a 20 year old girl I think it is important to talk to both of them the same way. If a boy has been brought up to respect women and take responsibility for his actions then all women would be 'safe'.
I think that respect is the key on both sides and girls having high enough self worth to say 'no' until they are sure that the time is right. Plus Parents having sufficient respect for their children that they can trust their judgement but will stand by them if they make a mistake.Most girls will be fine but they do need to know that they can turn to their Parents if they're not.
I had very controlling Parents and would have been terrified as a young adult if I'd had to go to them for help concerning love and romance. I kept myself chaste from fear not informed choice!
I have a very open relationship with my children and I know what they're doing. They know I won't sit in judgement and they can come to me with any problem and receive my support. I even extended this support to one of my daughter's friends when she found herself pregnant and without parental support aged 19. Leave that door open - you'll be devastated if it shuts in your face!
Things are not different now in spite of everyone trying to think they are. People are better educated and better informed - that's the only difference.
When your children show an interest in dating that's the time to start worrying. Not trying to determine an 'age' that is right. Both my children were young adults before they stopped going around in groups and started seeing people individually. My Son has met a lovely girl at university and my daughter is currently single. I trust them both and I know they'll talk to me if they have a problem.
We would not let our daughter date until she was 16 and had her driver's license. We felt it was important for her to be able to get herself safely home if the boy did something stupid. She was responsible, and mature and this plan worked very well for all of us. She had a curfew and we made it stick. Not saying she never missed it, but the few times she was late she called. There were consequences for being late, mostly not being allowed to go out the following weekend. We were very strict parents, we had to meet the boy several times before she was allowed to go in a car with them, they had to spend time in our home with us, so we could get a feeling for the kind of person they were. We had great relationships with all her boyfriends and many of their parents. Yes, we made sure to meet them as well.
I have a 9 yr old daughter. I think i would let het start dating at 16 yrs old but im sure she might have a kiss or two before that, without me knowing. I
Depends on the definition of dating. In my mind it is much more about supervised or not. Even the age of unsupervised is dependant on the human being who is your child. That is the true challenge of parenting and maybe all human relationships, there is no magic age. It's hard work, really knowing your child, knowing that there really aren't 8 simple rules or "Parenting for dummies". Parenthood requires one to THINK, COMMINICATE, BE DILIGENT BUT REMEMBER TO BREATH/ RELAX AND MOST OF ALL PAY ATTENTION. No easy way around it.
I was not and I knew a very strict mother for I left home very young . Things were very different in my days. Miami Killian, and a bunch of up to good kids chasing chows, or jumping into lake from ropes, never in house and truly tight group of boys and girls. Yet you always your Casanova in the group. But I remember having to read and study religion, thought manners, respect, especially my self.
Now as all when we said then, we will never be like our parents. My would scream when I put on Jimmy Hendrix s, I fear these days, these poor are missing the warmth of learning and being with family. We have given all,and they live inside machines, we messed up this generation.
Only you know your child, I am a very liberal old hippie, I say lock them up, I worry about WHOM they are with. Quote: Maya Angelou, I is time we take back our homes and children with warmth and the family.
Good mine is 30
Personally for me my mom let me start dating at 14 and not to brag but I was pretty mature at that age, knowing I did not want boys younger than me as I thought they were too immature. If you feel that she is mature for her age and is responsible, by all means let her start dating you may be surprise with the limits she will set for herself.
I agree with kyla 17 is a good age.
For my twins i think safe age will be 17.