Listen and give your teen a chance to discuss his/her experiences, then give helpful advice.
Parents should definitely get to know their son or daughter’s boyfriend/girlfriend, and the boyfriend or girlfriend’s parents too.
We can help our teens think about their relationships and encourage them to always use birth control and practice safer sex.
As parents, we all want our teens to have good early relationships, so we should discuss what constitutes a healthy relationship before they begin dating.
We can help them to expect good communication, respect, trust, fairness, honesty and equality.
We have to be careful not to push teens into dating, especially younger teens who are still in middle school.
Studies show that the earlier teens start dating and having relationships, the sooner sexual activity takes place.
If you do get upset or say something you later regret, you can always go back and say, “Listen, I was feeling startled that I just heard you and your boyfriend/girlfriend are having sex. I just want you to be healthy and safe.” Conversations about sexuality and relationships are an ongoing dialogue.
Once we know our teens are sexually active, parents can make a difference.Dating anyone more than two years older is risky—there are so many developmental differences that it’s almost impossible to have a healthy relationship with that large an age gap.And be sure to set ground rules: no friends over when adults aren’t home, check in when they go out to let you know where they’ll be and who they’re with, etc.We need to be as loving as possible when we learn that our teens are having sex.You may initially be disappointed or upset, but try to contain your anxiety and deal with your own feelings separately from your interactions with your son or daughter.How many times have you heard someone say, “She’s such a flirt” or “He’s going to be a real ladies' man” about a baby?