There are few things more frightening to a parent than the realization that their teen has reached the age where they want to begin dating and having a more active social life. Unfortunately this is an occurrence that cannot be prevented however there are some ways to lessen the fear that accompanies this crucial point in a teen’s life.
It is not always easy to know exactly when your teen will begin to show an interest in the opposite sex. This is because this occurrence is directly related to the onset of puberty. This phase does not always happen at the same time for every teen. While some hit puberty much sooner than others there are also times when it hits much later as well. This is why it is so important to know your teen and talk to them often as well as watch them. Many times when puberty is lurking near or has already begun your teen will begin to exude different behaviors than what may be normal. For example, some teens become actively rebellious when they reach puberty while others become withdrawn.
The reason every teen is different in relation to how puberty affects them depends largely on how they cope with the new hormones that are now raging through their bodies. Now is a very stressful time for many teens as they don’t fully comprehend the changes that they are now experiencing and many times they are not prepared for these changes. It is important that parents make an effort to understand this difficult time and try to make the transition a little less stressful. This can be done in a variety of ways but the best is simply to listen to your teen and try to understand what they are going through.
One of the best things you can do for your teens is to not only talk but listen as well. Tell them some of the things that they can expect to happen during puberty and ways of dealing with some of these changes. It is also helpful to listen to any questions they may have during this time as well. It is also helpful to let your teen know that you are there for them anytime they feel the need to talk to you.
Once your teen expresses the desire to begin dating there are many things that will no doubt cross your mind when considering this request. It is ultimately up to you, the parent, to make the final decision on whether now is the right time to allow your teen to begin dating. Some things that you may want to take into consideration during this time are your teen’s level of maturity, their age and their general attitude. Before allowing your teen to actually begin dating be sure to talk to them at length about various aspects of dating including safety concerns. This can go a long way toward easing your mind during the sometimes scary dating years of your teen.