Parent influence teen dating
&pagebreaking& Some parents may want to address the risks directly, such as by placing a box of condoms in the bathroom.Others may be uncomfortable even mentioning birth control and STIs, but they should give their child contact information of another trusted adult, doctor or clinic where they can get the protection they need.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.
If their boyfriend or girlfriend regularly puts them down, has power over them, controls their activities and choices or threatens them harm, parents need to step in.
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.
“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.Remind them of activities and friends they used to enjoy.