Safe dating tips for teens
Talking about relationships once they reach school age is step two. ” Share your values, but be sure to ask your child what he thinks creates a healthy, loving relationship.Parents should inquire about their children’s friendships, Ponton says, asking questions like: “What makes a relationship work well? Parents can find good conversation starters both in the media and in real life scenarios.It’s much easier to talk when your kids become teens if you began the dialogue years earlier.“When you start talking to them about sex when they’re 11, it allows them time to figure out what’s important to them,” says Brown, who has worked with teens for 27 years and is the mother of two daughters ages 18 and 21.Model Healthy Relationships Being a good role model to our kids as we interact with our spouses and others is the first step toward ensuring they’ll develop healthy connections as teens and adults, Ponton and Brown say.
The old worries about teen pregnancy, tarnished reputations and broken hearts still apply, but today there are new risks due to rising rates of dating violence and sexually-transmitted infections (STIs).
What can a parent do to make sure their dating teens are happy and safe?
We caught up with two local experts on teen relationships and sexuality and asked for their tips on setting guidelines for kids entering the dating game.
Lynn Ponton, University of California San Francisco professor of adolescent psychiatry and author of The Sex Lives of Teenagers and The Romance of Risk, and Nancy Brown, a developmental psychologist and education projects manager for Palo Alto Medical Foundation, both agree: Parents should set the stage for safe dating long before their child becomes a teen.
What parts of a relationship make your child most happy? When your kids are preteens, it’s time to bring sex into the discussion.Besides biology, bring up some of the risks and moral considerations.