10 rules for dating my teenage son

This is a prime opportunity to find out what they find appropriate and desirable in a romantic partner, says Crystal Reardon, director of counseling for Wake County Public School System. You have to respect your children’s feelings but also want to help keep them safe.”What to watch for: Girls usually don’t want to bring someone they’re just talking to home to their parents, say both Megan and Jennifer, so be prepared for some flak if you insist.“You never want the guy to think you’re going, ‘Oh, we’re dating, so I want you to meet them,’” Megan says.

On the other hand, she adds, “if you’re really dating, at some point you absolutely do want your parents to meet him.”Events are a Group Experience Your teen doesn’t have to be dating or talking to anyone to have a date to the prom, winter formal or Sadie Hawkins dance.

A fairly high bar stands between this phase and actual “dating,” wherein one member of the couple — usually the boy — officially asks the other out.

Megan*, a senior at Myers Park High School in Charlotte, says only about 20 percent of these relationships result in an official couple.

For instance, among Megan’s circle of about seven close girlfriends, only two have boyfriends.The rest are either completely single or talking to someone.“Maybe among the younger girls it’s more important to have a boyfriend, but as we’ve gotten older, it’s just not as important,” she says.Parents should try to stay on top of who their child is talking to or dating, and why — especially with younger teens.These first relationships usually don’t go beyond chatting, posing for pictures later posted on social media and requests to attend coed group outings.Most experts and parents consulted for this article say group “dates” to the mall, movies or even a friend’s house are fine as long as they’re supervised, even if it means just being in the same shopping center.

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