Parent advice on teen dating

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Each parent must consider factors such as: How responsible and mature is your teen?

How well do you know the person your child will be dating? Every teen is different, so you as a parent must make the determination after you’ve had an open, honest talk about dating, relationships and, yes, sex.

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Before you enter into a relationship, ask yourself if you have the maturity that's needed to have a successful relationship.Too often teenagers see sex as the most important element in the relationship when the sex act is the result of real and unconditional love.When you begin a relationship based on sex alone, you don't get to know each other emotionally or spiritually.Although it may be uncomfortable to broach these topics with your child, remember that, if you don’t, someone else will. Do they have a clear understanding of their right to say “no” to anything they are not comfortable with?“Since children develop at different rates, and there is no set age for dating, parents are responsible for appropriately guiding them through this major milestone,” says family counselor Kim Comerford, a therapist at Genesis Counseling Center in Mount Laurel. Parents need to take a step back and objectively look at their children’s maturity level. Do they understand unequivocally that “no” means “no”?

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