What Age to Start?
MY RED HEAD'S DATING?!...Aaacck!
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TEEN DATING strikes fear and trembling into many parents and guardians of teenagers!.....It did for us!
This gray hair I see in the mirror didn't just happen!
I figure raising red-haired teens had some part to play.
However, with God’s grace, a few tears and ‘discussions,' some difficult communication, reading a lot on parenting, and lots of prayer, we made it through the teen dating years!...all in one piece and still sane.
At WHAT AGE your red head is allowed to date is your call.
Things to think about might include:
- Your family values and/or religious beliefs
- Personal experiences that affect your viewpoint
- Your child’s personality
- Your child's self-esteem, self-image, and self-confidence
- Your child’s maturity level and what they can handle
- Their circle of friends
- Level of communication with your child
- If you trust your child
- Risks of STD and pregnancy, and more
- At what age is it OK for your child to kiss a boy/girl
- If you believe in sex before marriage or not
- If you have a curfew
- Consequences for defying rules
Talk with your spouse beforehand. Be in agreement, a united front, so your child knows that. This has to happen before telling your child the dating rules.
-- SINGLE PARENT or GUARDIAN? Again decide before it comes up. Be firm yet loving.
Best case scenario is to discuss teen dating while your kids are young, for instance in elementary school, and BEFORE they're interested in dating. You can talk about it again as they get older.
Set expectations and boundaries beforehand so they know your dating age restrictions and family rules on dating. Set consequences if they defy you, going behind your back, or lying. Love them but keep communication open on anything.
Teens seem to want to start dating earlier and earlier, usually earlier than their parents allow, especially girls who often mature earlier. Some teens want to date in early teens, while others don’t date in high school at all.
Unfortunately, studies show that the earlier teen dating starts, the higher the risk of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STD).
It’s not hard to imagine that if your redhead is just ‘holding hands’ at age 12, 13, or younger, it will soon evolve into kissing. Things progress.....
Next thing you know, your teens are having sex.
Plus, the other concern is that dating violence, dating abuse, is increasing.
By your teen knowing your family’s dating rules and age restrictions ahead of time, it may actually help take pressure off to date before they’re ready. They have an excuse to say no ‘because my parents won’t let me date yet’, ....etc.
-- IDEAS ON HOW TO START DATING --
- Start out in a mixed group, friends doing things like swimming, movies, bike rides, sports, etc. This way you can practice being with different kinds of people.
- Be with boys your age only if there are not the same number of boys as girls (so not pair up).
- Later, when ready, try group dates where it’s just 2 or 3 couples going out somewhere.
- When ready, can go out alone. I still recommend age 16, as that is the age most teens start driving and hopefully mature enough. Go out with a friend. It might become romantic but if it doesn’t it’s okay. Enjoy being friends. You have to be best friends to stay in a long-term relationship anyway.
- If you have a curfew, tell your date beforehand. Check in with parents or guardian on your cellphone regularly.
- Don’t feel pressured to date, no matter what age you are. Date when YOU feel comfortable.
- Don’t feel like you have to give in to sexual activities to please someone. If they leave you because you say ‘NO’, then they’re not worth it and are just selfish. There’s someone better waiting for you down the line who really cares about YOU. You deserve that.
- Sexting is dangerous business! (Learn more on my "Sexting Dangers" page.)
- Wear a temporary tattoo with your emergency contact information in case something happens. These tattoos can also be used if you have an allergy, special needs, if you get disoriented and lost, or just for an emergency. Easy to put on and remove. "Safety Tat" brand is HIGHLY recommended by top parenting magazines.
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Well....when teen dating stuff was going on, I did try to make alone time with my girls, especially at bedtime, just to chat. Sometimes they’d share stuff or I’d try to bring up dating issues, birth control, sex, etc. Some kids open up more than others.
I know stuff happened that they’ll never tell me about. (Heck, I didn't tell MY parents everything when I dated!)....but they knew I was there and love them just in case....
ATTENTION FUTURE BOYFRIENDS -- FILL OUT THE FORM !!
Parents of teens need a bit of FUN occasionally.Go to "PERMISSION TO DATE MY DAUGHTER" form
My husband provided any boy wanting to date our redhead daughters with a "form" to fill out. We’d all 'laugh' and let the guys read it, but there was some truth to it. A little bit of "fear" of dad or mom can be very helpful!
-- 8 SIMPLE RULES TO DATE MY DAUGHTER --
(Taken from W. Bruce Cameron's book '8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter'.
- Use your hands on my daughter and you'll lose them after.
- You make her cry, I make you cry.
- Safe sex is a myth. Anything you try will be hazardous to your health.
- Bring her home late, there's no next date.
- If you pull into my driveway and honk, you better be dropping off a package because you're sure not picking anything up.
- No complaining while you're waiting for her. If you're bored, change my oil.
- If your pants hang off your hips, I'll gladly secure them with my staple gun.
- Dates must be in crowded public places. You want romance? Read a book.
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