When Your Child Starts Dating
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teen datingYour Teen's Behavior

As your child moves from childhood into the teenage years, she will encounter many social and cultural challenges. It is an exciting time and yet a scary time for your child. As she moves more toward independence, she will be convinced she knows everything, you know nothing and you were literally born yesterday. In fact, at this time, she needs you more than ever. By knowing what to expect at this stage of your child's life, you are better equipped to interact effectively with her. By communicating clearly with your child and listening to what she has to say and the emotions she is expressing, you can help your child through this stage.

Tips for Dating
  • Talk with your child about what she hopes for from dating and from relationships.
  • Let her know your concerns and hopes for her as she goes out on dates.
  • Know who your child is hanging out with and dating.
  • Talk with the parents of those kids.
  • Set clear rules about who can be with her in your home when there are no adults present.
  • Teach manners and how to be respectful of others.
  • Let your child know she can always call home if she is uncomfortable or feels worried.
  • Tell your child to have fun—dating should be fun.

This information was compiled by Sunindia Bhalla, One Tough Job Manager, and reviewed by the Program Staff of the Massachusetts Children’s Trust Fund.

Additional resources available under the Growth & Development section.

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