Teen Daughters & Dating : 7 Tips for Caring Parents

If you’re like most parents of teenage girls, you probably hold some fears about the day when your little one will start dating. This is definitely one of the major signs that they are growing up and transforming into adults.

Teen dating comes with a lot of challenges and it is not an easy and straightforward period in a growing child’s life. And, for many lot of teens, it’s happening much sooner than they are ready.

According to the US Department of Health & Human Services, teen dating is surely a beneficial way for young people to learn positive relationship skills like trust, respect, compromise, and honesty; however, teen dating is not without risks.

Some of the major challenges, especially with teen daughters, include dating an older partner, having sexual intercourse before emotionally or developmentally ready, disappointment, dating violence, dating too early, and more.

This is where we as parents can play a pivotal role by informing our daughters about the dos and don’ts of dating. The best way to achieve this, according to experts, is to maintain an open communication with your teen.

Many parents unintentionally forget that we should be the ones teaching our children about what a good and loving relationship means, not the media or the internet as it is the case nowadays.

When we base the communication on trust, support, and respect, we can be significant to our child’s decision-making abilities when it comes to choosing a good partner, The Child Development Institute advises.

If you notice some signs that your teen is maybe in a relationship which is not good for her, it is the time to intervene and talk to your child or even ask for help.

But, in order to be a good “counselor” for your child and her relationships, you need to know a thing or two yourselves. Feel free to share your own dating experience and what your relationship experiences have taught you.

Explain to your daughter that the perfect relationship does not exist and that what matters is having a good person by our side who inspires us to be better, loves us for who we are, respects us and makes us happy.

If you are a caring parent of a teen daughter who has recently started dating and you are looking for some genuine tips to help her navigate, check out the tips below.

7 Useful Tips to Help Your Teen Daughter  Start Dating

   1. Specify what a healthy relationship is

Before you daughter enters in the world of dating, it may be very beneficial to teach her what a healthy and loving relationship represents. Though not the easiest subject to tackle, this is one of the greatest gifts to give to your daughter.

She will have the knowledge and support to rely on in challenging times and grow stronger. According to the Good Therapy Organization, whose mission is to educate the public about mental health issues and empower people to get help, it is good when a parent explains to their children that a healthy relationship is one based on trust, respect, honesty, communication, and support.

More importantly, dating someone means both sides have established boundaries and respect them equally. You may also point out that being in a healthy relationship never means restricting the partner’s freedom and that it is in their mutual interest to keep their other interests and friendships.

Begin the conversation by saying something like “When you start dating, there will be a lot of challenges to face, but I’m here to guide you all the way through.”

   2. Educate her about sex

One thing is for sure- it is in your teen’s best interest (and yours!) to never avoid the topic of sexual intercourse because it is usually in teen years that people have their first sexual experience.

If you struggle to begin a conversation about sex, have in mind that it is always better for your child to learn about it from you, rather than from their peers or the media.

If you have backed up your daughter with the needed information and taught her good values, she will know best if it is time for her relationship to turn into something more serious.

Focus on her preparedness and emphasize that being sexually active brings a lot of new changes in their relationship, but in their lives too. Point out her responsibility of practicing safe sex and how best to protect themselves from STDs, unplanned pregnancy, peer pressure, and unpleasant sexual experiences.

And, you need not worry if you do not know much about sexuality- you can still have a meaningful conversation. According to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, you create one by sharing your own experiences and values about relationships and sexuality.

If your daughter is thinking about being intimate with her partner, tell her something like “I know this is new for you and you have a lot of questions. Both of you need to be 100 % sure you want to do it. I’m here for you to help you answer your dilemmas.”

   3. Instil good values

One of the numerous advantages that parenthood brings is the ability to instil our values in our children. Our youngsters need us to teach them about good values in order for them to build a strong moral.

As Middle Earth, a non-profit agency from New Jersey that has been working with adolescents for more than 40 years explain, people with strong values have successful relationships, are happier, and contribute to society positively.

With this in mind, we can help our daughters create loving relationships and have good dating experience if we teach them about the right values in life. To this extent, it is essential to be good role models and lead by example, especially if we know that children learn by imitating.

Therefore, if you want to teach them honesty, be honest; if you want to teach them about empathy, show empathy. If you want to teach her how to behave in relationships, behave like that with your partner, other family members, and friends.

Remember to share your experiences and stories about moments when you made poor choices and how you could have done better. Explain that her choices come with consequences.

When she upholds to her values, reward her. Praise her when she is understanding, compassionate, honest, and respectful. In this way, you are teaching her how to behave with her own friends and partners.

    4. Prepare her for peer pressure

Peer pressure in adolescence is never easy to handle, particularly when it comes to dating and sex. Often times, we see teenagers who enter the world of dating and sex because their friends “think it’s cool” or because “their friends are doing it”.