Ruth has written a new book to help parents address the uncomfortable subject of their teens becoming sexually active. Ruth provides advice on what to expect when your teen is dating for the first time, and how to create an atmosphere for open communication and honesty.
Chapter seven: When your teen starts dating New parents eagerly await every one of their baby’s “firsts”: first smile, first time he rolls over, her first steps, and so on.
When it comes to cutting the apron strings, dating is a major snip. Some of it may have to do with your own dating experiences.
If you had a few broken hearts or other problems during your dating years, that’s naturally going to make you worry as your offspring enters the world of dating.
Those good feelings at witnessing the child’s progress continue as the baby grows up and goes through various phases — until the baby becomes a teen and the “firsts” have to do with sex.
Developing an interest in the opposite sex, or the same sex, is a stage that every human goes through, and of course parents are happy that their children have the sexual desires they’re supposed to have, but let’s face it, this stage also comes with a lot of trepidation.
So you have to get to the bottom of why a child’s social life is way below par.
Stock up on snacks so that if they want to hang out in your basement, they feel welcome.And then there were the good parts: the kisses, the romance, the sex. What it means is that your baby is not your baby any more, and so that’s another reason for feeling nervous.And then there can be serious ramifications of dating and sex. Sending your child off into the unknown is a scary proposition.Benefits of counseling I understand why people hesitate to send a child for counseling.As a society, we look down on people who have a “mental illness,” which can include depression, for instance.You want to make your presence felt so that no one will decide to light up a joint or raid the liquor cabinet.A lack of friends If your teen doesn’t seem to have friends, then that is a problem.Rather than risk labeling your child, the temptation is that “she’ll grow out of it.” But psychological issues are just like physical ones in that the later you deal with them, the worse they get and the harder they are to fix.So despite the temptation to hope that the problem is just a passing phase, I strongly suggest that you take action and get professional help if you notice something peculiar in your teen’s behavior.What if you hate the young lady your son is dating? Sticking with the pack The best way for young teens to get into dating is to go in groups.There’s much less pressure all around, especially for you.