Teenage Girls & Dating – 7 Rules to Help Parents & Their Daughters

Has your teen daughter started dating recently? Do you fear that it’s too soon for her?

There’s no doubt that when teens begin to date and have boyfriends and girlfriends, parents’ worries increase. Nowadays, some teens get interested in dating sooner than the age of 13, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Even though it still remains a debate when it’s the right time for dating, it will eventually begin for our children, for some sooner, for some later; therefore, so it’s best we prepare them well for this new chapter in their lives.

Problems may occur when parents aren’t discussing dating with early daters and establishing rules early on.

When parents neglect this subject and think that their ‘teens won’t start dating for some time’ or that they will ‘learn what they need to from others’, we’re taking away their opportunity to learn about healthy relationships.

The challenge is to establish ground rules that are reasonable and age-appropriate for early tween girls and share with them the required tools to stay safe, advises Lisa Sugarman, newspaper columnist, published author, writer, and speaker who writes and speaks about the challenges of raising children and the stress of being a wife or a mom a dad or a husband.

By starting early, you pave the way for an open and active communication that both sides can work on- what we want to achieve is our teen always coming to us for advice and we offering the best guidance we can.

Although challenging at times, dating can be a beautiful experience for young people and teach them about love, respect, and honesty. With the help of rules on dating, you’ll provide her with some independence, but also do your best to keep her safe.

For parents whose teen daughter has just entered the dating world, or is about to, here are 7 ideas to help you establish the rules that serve you both.

  

7 Rules to Help You & Your Teen Daughter Navigate Dating

 

1. Set ground rules & offer guidance

 

When your daughter begins dating, this doesn’t mean that she no longer needs rules and guidance. On the contrary, it’s crucial to do everything in our power to keep our children safe and teach them the skills needed to maintain a healthy relationship.

 

In terms of establishing beginner rules, try and base them on their attitude, not necessarily their age. But, also have rules that are in accordance with her age- for example, no alone time with the date if she’s a tween- their date will be happening in a public area or in a group.

 

Emphasize that she can’t go on dates in places she hasn’t previously informed you about. And, explain that you need to meet her date first before they make a plan for a date.

 

Kris Hallstrom, manager of the Boys Town National Hotline who’s been part of the Boys Town organization for more than 25 years, advises introducing rules for the areas in your home where the date can take place and whether you want the doors to stay opened or closed. Also, discuss how long you want them to stay.

 

An excellent way to get to learn more about their date is to invite them over for lunch or dinner. You will also use this meeting to see how they treat each other.

 

2. She should date those of her age

 

With certainty, age differences are pivotal in teen relationships. In today’s society, a 14-year-old girl or a boy dating someone of the same age isn’t something that’s considered abnormal in our society.

 

On the other hand, if she/he is with someone who’s 21 or older, they will be criticized as that person is over 18. The wider this gap, the more unreasonable and unacceptable will the relationship be perceived.

 

Even though we can’t always control who our children will fall in love with, we can still keep things under control, especially when they’re still young and inexperienced.

 

As a parent, you need to explain this to your teen that they’re minors and thus, not mature enough to be in a relationship with a person who’s already an adult.

 

This is crucial for parents of teen girls as they, according to the US Department of Health & Human Services, tend to have the first sexual experience with males who’re three or more years older.

 

Of course, this isn’t a 100 percent preventive measure, but it does help avert risky attitude.  Find the right words to explain to her that the law too doesn’t allow dating people over eighteen, not just you.

 

Note that once they become adults and turn eighteen, they’re free to bring their own decisions, including ones about their relationships. They will have a private life that will be exclusive to them only.

 

3. Meet their date & chaperone 

Explain to your teen or tween daughter that if she wants to go on a date with someone, that someone should come in and meet you first. Thus, you also get a chance to get to know the other side and not think of them as strangers.