Is there anything more romantic than the first love? Sleepless nights, big plans for the future, and numerous pieces of advice from family and friends who worry about you.
Not much has changed since you first fell in love. The only difference is it’s your kids falling for someone now. They make spontaneous relationship decisions, making you seek ways to take everything under control.
The wish to find a mate and start relations is normal for teenagers. However, dating can be accompanied by numerous dangers, as teens think they are grown-up enough to do what they want. So, they often seek advice for their romantic life on the Internet.
What’s more, they don’t even need to leave their home to find someone to date. Apps, such as Tinder, can find them a potential mate in seconds. The only problem is that no one knows who’s on the other side: a real kid who wants to find love or a groomer.
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What Are the Dangers of Teenage Dating?
The US Department of Justice reports that one in three teen girls becomes a victim of physical or emotional abuse by their dating partners. Some male partners are known to use harassment and threats to take control over the person they’re dating.
If your teen is inexperienced in dating, they can overly romanticize their companion and consider wrong actions normal. Your daughter or son may think their mate’s jealousy or pressure is adequate for a romantic relationship. They won’t even understand that something is wrong.
As a result, a teenager who seeks love and understanding can fall victim to emotional or physical aggressiveness and even sexual abuse.
Teen Dating Advice for Parents: 7 Tips to Help You Keep Them Safe
When you notice that your teen becomes more social and open to romantic relations, it’s time to start having meaningful conversations about love, sex, and responsibility. Here’s a guide to help you cope with your teen’s first feelings and set rules for teenage dating.
1. Accept the Situation
First of all, you need to acknowledge that starting romantic relationships with someone is normal for your teen. You also need to understand that they need private space, and you don’t necessarily need to know every detail of their personal life.
What you can do is to support your child in this new beginning and help them form healthy, happy relations with another teen.
2. Talk About Consent
Consent is the most important thing that you need to discuss with your child. Teens don’t know how to set boundaries and can’t realize all the possible consequences of relations with no borders. Although they feel intimacy towards their partner, they can’t know for sure what another person thinks.
Talk about what healthy relationships look like, what is acceptable, and what’s not. They need to know that being assaulted, pressured, or harassed is wrong. If they notice any signs of neglecting their consent, they need to reach out to you for help.
3. Set Teenagers Dating Rules
Setting rules for your teen is not about forbidding them to date. It’s about following clear guidelines that will safeguard them from making wrong decisions in life.
Collaborate with your teenager to set rules for dating activities. Encourage them to be responsible, inform you about their plans, and come home at the time you have set. Explain that no one is trying to restrict their freedom, and it’s all about their safety.
4. Teach to Identify Manipulation
Teens are rebellious and vulnerable, so it’s not a problem for an experienced manipulator to control them. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to teach your child to recognize manipulative behavior from their partner.
Teens need to understand that those who truly love won’t engage them in any activities without their will. When a person uses the classic “If you love me, then do it,” it means your child is dealing with a manipulator. They need to end these relations, however hard it can be.
5. Get Acquainted with Their Significant Other
The best way to get an idea of someone’s intentions is to meet them face to face. Find an opportunity to get acquainted with your teen’s partner. Invite them both for dinner, chat, ask general questions that don’t violate anyone’s privacy boundaries.
6. Discuss Safety of Social Media
As teens spend a lot of time on social media, they need to be aware of basic online safety measures. It’s no secret that young people tend to send inappropriate content, such as nudes and sexts, to each other.
Your job is to inform them that everything ever shared online stays there forever. So, it can be intercepted by any tech-savvy online predator. What’s more, a recipient can screenshot their message and share it with others on purpose.
7. Use a Parental Control App
It’s pretty challenging to control a teenager, especially one who has just found “true love.” However, you can monitor their online activity without them knowing.
If you install a parental control app, such as mSpy, on your teen’s phone, you can check out their calls, text messages, GPS locations, and other data right from your smartphone. It means that you can prevent your child from getting into trouble before it’s too late.
Developing clear and concrete rules for children is a must for every parent. No matter if you have a teenage son or teenage daughter, dating rules can prevent them from getting into a dangerous situation.
If you want to enhance your child’s safety within their romantic relations, we recommend that you use a parental control app.