Parent advice for teen dating

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We caught up with two local experts on teen relationships and sexuality and asked for their tips on setting guidelines for kids entering the dating game.Lynn Ponton, University of California San Francisco professor of adolescent psychiatry and author of The Sex Lives of Teenagers and The Romance of Risk, and Nancy Brown, a developmental psychologist and education projects manager for Palo Alto Medical Foundation, both agree: Parents should set the stage for safe dating long before their child becomes a teen.There’s nothing that makes your teen’s boyfriend or girlfriend look more attractive than you dissing their choice.In addition, your disapproval undermines your teen’s judgement and causes them to push back – hard.Many parents I interviewed said one hurdle to giving their kids good advice is that dating practices have changed so much since they were teens…Teenagers get a bad rap, says Richard Lerner, Ph D, director of the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University.

The first time you fall in love is a wonderful, angst-ridden, terrifying and exciting experience. If you were like most teens, you constantly thought about that person and wanted to be with them.

”Studies show that teenagers crave intimacy and adolescents are beginning to date at earlier ages.

Today, the average age for a person to begin dating is 13. Research has shown that serious adolescent relationships before either partner is emotionally mature can have detrimental effects for identity formation and even life and health.

For parents, watching teens go through this can be exactly the same - minus the 'wonderful' and 'exciting' part. Your days were spent obsessing about when you could talk next, and kiss next. (Remember back in the days when there was only such a thing as a ‘home phone’? Today your smitten teen has all of the same desires to be connected with their crush, but with the added possibilities that come with social media, mobile phones, and almost endless opportunities for communicating with their beloved.

Instant photos through instagram and snapchat, instant messaging through skype, facebook, or text, plus old-fashioned contact via the phone or in person.

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