How to Talk with Your Kids About Dating

by R.L. Cultrona

About R.L. Cultrona

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R.L. Cultrona is a San Diego native and a graduate of San Diego State University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in theater, television and film with a minor in communications and political science. She began writing online instructional articles in June 2009.

Watching your children grow up is one of the most wonderful things about having children. Kids don't grow in a vacuum. You have to guide them and help them make the right decisions about their lives. As your children get into their teenage years, they might want to begin dating.

Let your kid know exactly what you want to talk about. Don't come at him like you are lecturing him, or you will push him away. Start with a question about his dating life.

Gauge her dating preferences. Don't pose too many restrictions on who she can date, but let her know if you have any concerns. If your child is in high school, pose an age limit for her.

Steer the conversation into dating etiquette. Talk to him about how to ask people out, what is acceptable behavior on a date and how to treat people respectfully. Inform him about the differences between how you treat your friends and how you treat a girlfriend.

Be honest with her about your dating history. If she knows you are being honest, she will be more apt to ask questions and come to you with problems. Remember that it IS different for her today than it was for you, so stay away from comparisons.

Talk to him about honesty and communication with his partners as the foundation of all relationships. Let him know its OK to get out of a relationship if he is not happy with what is going on.

Broach the subject of sex. You don't have to go onto detail, but let her know your feelings about sex. Let her know that she never has to go further with a person than she wants to. Let her know there are ways to get out of an unpleasant situation, and how you can help her with that.

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Tip

  • Be as open as possible with your kids. This will help with trust and allow you to have a nice conversation about your feelings and expectations for them when dating.

Warning

  • Don't put demands on them or give them ultimatums. More often than not, this will shut them out and cause communication to stop. When this happens, teens might not get the information they need to make correct decisions.