Dating meeting the parents

Don’t be worried that talking about it will encourage them to do it, Brown adds. “The more they know about the risks, the less sex they have as teens.” Besides looking for signs that your dating teen is having unprotected sex, parents should always be watchful for signs of abuse, Ponton and Brown say. Subtler signs include unusual anxiety, secretiveness, poor appetite, low self-esteem and depression.

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“Plus, preteens can be more open to our suggestions.” Some preteens, especially those who go through puberty early, may begin to receive attention from the opposite sex, Brown says.

If they’re not ready, encourage them to say, “I’m not interested.” &pagebreaking& Hold a Family Meeting When you think your child will be dating in a year or so, it’s time for another talk.

“Say, ‘I want us as a family to decide how we’re going to handle this,’” Brown says.

“‘Let’s think about it for a few days and meet on a Saturday to talk it through.’” Parents shouldn’t go into it thinking they’re going to lay down the law.

If the teen can’t work out the problem or you suspect genuine abuse, encourage your child to end the relationship by phone, e-mail or with others present so that the abuser can’t lash out.

Teens can get defensive about unhealthy relationships, so parents should broach the subject gently, Brown says.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.A sign that they’re ready for intimacy may be that they can discuss the risks with each other, use long-term protection and go together to the clinic to get it.Brown says parents should be clear about their own views on sex.It’s much easier to talk when your kids become teens if you began the dialogue years earlier.

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