It's sometimes hard for parents to find a balance between hovering over a teen and giving them too much freedom.
After all, guiding teens into the dating world is an unfamiliar experience for many parents. Some teens date because they see their friends beginning to date and don't want to be left behind.
Many parents set rules for their Christian teens about dating.
While setting rules is a good idea, it is important for parents to think through the rules that they do set.
If anything, youngsters in the group spend as much time interacting with their same-sex friends as they do with members of the opposite sex. Ron Eagar, a pediatrician at Denver Health Medical Center, views group dating as a healthy way for adolescents to ease into the dating pool rather than dive in.“The number-one benefit is safety,” says the father of two grown children.Going out in mixed groups also gives boys and girls an opportunity to just enjoy one another’s company, without the awkwardness and sexual tension that can intrude upon a one-to-one date. Many of us feel that way when we imagine our son or daughter disappearing into the night arm in arm with a young lady or a young man. Eagar advises not allowing single dating before age sixteen.They march off en masse to the mall or to the movies, or join a gang tossing a Frisbee on the beach.Don’t confuse group dating with double-dating or triple-dating.Your daughter’s first crush has thick bangs that cover his eyes and a brown belt in Aikido. Tweens and teens are often preoccupied with romance.Enamored of his vegetarian lifestyle and Eastern interests, she’s talking tofu and downloading anime movies by the gigabyte. “Kids are starting to date earlier than most parents would like,” says relationship education advocate Lindsay Kriger, creator of the romance advice blog If Only I Knew.Furthermore, a parent who is new to dealing with this situation can benefit from the experiences of parents who have successfully navigated those challenging teen dating years!The Desire For Romance, Why Does Your Young Person Feel This Way?First relationships are like a mirror: Kids see themselves as others see them and find out how their words and actions draw people closer or push them away.Tweens and teens also learn about their values and goals, explore their feelings, and practice communication and commitment through dating, says teen life coach Melissa Kahn: “In some ways, teenage love is the purest, sweetest love of all — the kind that is about attraction and fun.” But that doesn’t mean young love is easy. Being admired and desired is exhilarating; getting disregarded or dumped can be crushing.