When your teenager wants to start dating
This issue has always been a stressful topic. Simply because parents want their children to be safe and because they children will always be their parents babies. Here are some tips to help you remain sane during this trying phase.
More than age
If your neighbors are letting their kids (same age as yours) date, doesn’t mean you should. Not if your teen is not ready yet. Look for signs that say your child is ready to date. Age should not be your only criterion for allowing or forbidding your child. Consider if your child is mature enough. And we’re not talking about physical maturity. When your child starts dating, he/she should be emotionally and mentally mature.
Keep your communication lines open. Talk to your teen. Be honest. If your are honest, your teen will be honest to you too. Tell them about your feelings (or apprehensions if you will) and listen to theirs as well. You might be surprised just how scared they are too about the whole dating thing. And also don’t lose it if you hear your teen say "He’s/She’s so hot!" Be there for your teen when they go through the ups and downs of dating.
If you are not comfortable letting your teen go on a date alone, try letting them go with a group first for a couple of times. Even if the people in the group pair up, being part of a group will let your teen still feel like he/she fits in, but you will still have the safety of knowing that it’s not just your teen against another teen if something goes wrong. Public places such as bowling alleys are a great choice for group dates. Know the people your teen is going out with.
Teach your teen to respect the opposite sex, even way before they start dating. Actually, respect is something that your kid should be taught early on. Remember, your teen cannot respect someone if he doesn’t respect himself. Make sure your teen has this one nailed before allowing him/her to date.
Create a set of rules or guidelines before your teen begins dating. Make sure he/she stick with them. Sure no one goes through the whole courtship process and getting permission anymore, but it doesn’t mean you need not get to know who your teen goes out with, where they are going, how they are getting there, and (the most common question parents ask) when will they be home. With regards to up what time your teen can stay out, you need not go with your village’s curfew. Give your own curfew. One that is fair to your kid yet you are comfortable with.
Teen Dating Risks and Dangers
One of the reasons why parents are apprehensive to let their kids go out on a date is because there are risks involved. Some of the top scary risks include car accidents (perhaps due to drunk driving), statutory and date rape.
Statutory rape charges can be reported and filed by the victim, parents of the victim, professionals in mandatory reporting situations, and in most states they can be raised by the state. California has been a primary example of these filing charges against fathers of pregnant women who are, or were, minors at the time of conception and doing it at the protest of both the women and the parents of the involved parties. The term "Age of Consent" is a term not found in many state statutes, but rather reflects an absence of prohibition. As used on this website, the "Age of Consent" reflects the age at which a person can no longer be a victim of statutory rape; or, the age at which a person may legally consent to most types of sexual activity with another person. This age varies from 14-18 in all states in the USA with over half the states adopting the age of "16" as the legal age of consent.
There are still restrictions in some states on what type of sexual activity is permissible, such as oral sex and sodomy, as well as restrictions on the relationship of the two people involved, for example a teacher-student relationship. These restrictions typically run until the age of 18, though some states still have laws against oral sex or sodomy at any age. There are also differences in the severity of criminal offense based on the age difference between the adult and the minor.