In what seems as quick as a blink of an eye, your child has grown up right before your eyes. From playing with toys to hitting the mall with friends, their desire for new experiences is rapidly increasing as their social needs change. Before you know it they’ll be asking your permission to date. Dating can be a major stress point for parents when deciding if their child is ready. Talking with your child should be the first step in making this decision.
Child’s Opinion in a Relationship Matters
Find out your child’s definition of a good relationship. Sit down with your son or daughter and discuss what is healthy and unhealthy in a relationship. Instead of taking the lead and voicing your opinion listen to your child. Once they have finished voice your opinion about the things they’ve said. Bring up any areas of concern and point out some examples of good and bad relationships. Once the child can easily decipher the bad from the good, without your input, this is a good indication that they are mature enough to date.
The Overall Behavior of Child
Examine how well your child handles relationships. How well your son or daughter interacts with family and friends is a good indication of how they’ll behave in a dating relationship. Look for signs of maturity in the way they respect other people boundaries and feelings. If your child is unable to do so or is often in conflict with others, these may be signs that they aren’t ready.
How Does a Child Shoulder’s Responsibility
Determine how responsible your child is. Look at the way the child handles responsibility around the house. Are they where they’re supposed to be? Do they complete household duties and school work without direction from you? These are all questions that will help determine how responsible your child is. Dating is a major responsibility that requires a lot of maturity. A child is only able to make the right decision in dating once they show responsibility at home.
Educating Child About Sex
Talk about sex. It’s important to start discussing the topic with your child to educate them on how to protect themselves. Once again, allow your child to lead the conversation initially. This will allow you to gauge exactly what they know about the subject. What will you do if you don’t want to have sex but your date does? What are sexually transmitted diseases? How will you protect yourself if you do decide you want to become sexually active? These are all questions that your child should be able to answer before dating.
Each Child is Different
Don’t compare your child to other children. It’s important to understand that each child is different. Children who are of the same age can have different maturity levels. Look at your child’s behavior without taking anyone else into consideration. Use your instinct when determining if your child is ready to date. After all, as a parent you know your child better than anyone else. The college dating has something become very common. So, be aware of the child’s activity.