As kids grow older and start experimenting with friends, texting, and dating, it can be a confusing time for the whole family. I can remember hearing horror stories from friends of mine as we were growing up about their parents reactions and decisions, and was always grateful that my parents had taken a trusting, yet not too involved approach. Here are some tips of what to do, and maybe more importantly, what not to do.
Don’t: Dismiss the validity of your child’s experience.
Do: Remember that dating contributes massively to a child’s overall emotional intelligence.
Don’t: Be too overbearing. This will just lead to lying and sneaking around behind your back – things are better out in the open.
Do: Try to listen and engage with your child when it comes to their dating. Maybe invite who they’re seeing over for dinner; this way you can also get to know them!
Don’t: Ignore the potential dangers of online media.
Do: Leave the family computer in a common area, to make it easier to monitor use.
Don’t: Read your child’s messages or texts. As above, this will just lead to resentment and distrust.
Do: Intervene if you have reasonable suspicion that your child is undergoing emotional or physical trauma.