Once you’re done talking, set a good example in your relationship with your significant other.
Once your child starts dating, don’t stop talking to them about relationships.
Parents may joke that it’s an experience they want their child to have -- just not until somewhere around the age of 30. A 6th grade girl may say, "Jacob is my boyfriend," but what does that mean?
Seriously, though, when is your child ready to date? "At this age, kids use dating labels but aren’t ready to have much direct one-on-one interaction beyond maybe sitting together at lunch or recess," says Dale Atkins, Ph D, a family therapist in New York.
Since you have a houseful of kids, I am wondering how you deal with this. “Mean Mom” Back when all of my children were small I always said that they could date once they were ready to get married. Based on my own life experiences I couldn’t see how it possibly could be a good thing. As they have grown I have realized that there is no protecting children from being hurt. Once they can drive they will be off going places and you probably won’t know where half the time.
And that there are valuable lessons to be learned in all of our relationships, romantic and otherwise. You may be surprised by what your 13, 14, or 15 yr old considers . 4) They are still willing to listen to what you have to say.
I am very pleased to announce that Chris Jordan will now be fielding questions about raising tweens and teens.
“But if he’s so uncomfortable that he gets angry or shuts down or otherwise just can’t continue the conversation, that’s a big sign that he’s not ready for this.” If so, assure your child that there’s no hurry to start dating.
And I’m okay with that, because I LOVE our jello-for-dinner and Spongebob-laden family culture.
But there’s one decision my husband and I have made as parents that’s decidedly countercultural, and will no doubt earn us the title of “Freakish Catholic Zealots” as our kids get older: we’re NOT going to allow our teenage children to date. Because there’s really only one legitimate–and by that, I mean edifying–purpose to dating: to find a spouse.
But it’s important to remember that they do still need you now and this is a normal development phase of the teen years.
There are also things you can do to make dating easier for both of you.