Advice for parents about teen dating

It's unclear to me what your goals are, and this is the first step in setting up guidelines or procedures of any sort.It sounds from your message as if you are conflicted with regard to your goal.

She is now 18, more mature and a fabulous person, looking back she says I was just a kid - what did I know that something like that would happen to me. I have a 16 year old daughter, though she is pretty easy, but I was a troubled 16 year old once (and I have also transracially adopted a child with challenges).

I find myself in the unsettling position of wanting to say very conventional things like ''An 18 year old boy only has one thing in mind.'' And then I feel bad. Older guys pick on younger, more vulnerable girls because it's harder for them to say no. They mostly spent time together at school, at lunch, or met before school for coffee. I told her that I wanted to meet him before they went ''out'' anywhere. Just make sure she knows that she can call you anytime and you will pick her up. That way she might talk to you about any things she doesn't know how to handle.

Talk to your daughter about different things that can happen when she is with him and let her know she can make a choice about what she wants to do. I also tell her if he wants to ''go farther'' than she does, she absolutely has the right to say ''no''.

I want to support her to start thinking through some of this for herself, but whereas she used to have very good judgment, these days she's running on low self esteem and hormones and I believe would follow anybody home who told her she had beautiful eyes. I talked to her about birth control and safe sex and she clearly was not ready. She went to his house once or twice, all when parents were home. When she has been out later with others I often pick her up (the joys of cell phones! I guess when there is another boyfriend I will want to meet him also.

( And yes, we've been addressing the low esteem for years.)She has no experience with dating. I say I could get behind that better if he would stop commenting on her physical beauty and if she would stop gushing. When she saw him I kept my cell phone on and when they were alone for the first time and he was pressuring her for sex, she called me and I picked her up immediately. I think it's a matter of what you are comfortable with and what she wants too.

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