Teen dating is a topic many guardians shy away from talking about with their children. Choosing instead a reserved approach. Growing up in Kenya, I lived within a community where parents warned their kids against attempting any form of dating. The same kids would however hit them with that harsh reality a while later. It’s not a secret many teenagers worldwide are dating. Just take a scroll through social media if you need further convincing.
Teenagers are adventurous and will always find ways to feed and satisfy their curiosity. For many parents though, facing this is a nightmare. Mainly due to the risks associated with early teen dating. Times have changed and parents need to embrace the idea of their kids dating at one stage during their teenage life. Here are some quick tips guardians can relay to their kids for a smooth dating experience.
Teen relationships function just like any other adult relationship. The only difference being the involvement of youthful minds. And, that is where that elderly guidance comes in handy.
Don’t stay in unhappy relationships
People enjoy relationships that bring them joy. That’s one of the many signs of a healthy relationship. As a guardian, you need to emphasize to your kids that they should only stay in relationships that make them sad. They should not be forced to change their ways or habits to fit into a relationship. Protect their mental health.
Check the values of your partner
Before dating, one of the things we always look out for is the character of an individual. What values do they hold? Teenagers need to date people who are morally upright and led by good principles. Insist on this as a parent.
It’s a normal thing for couples to be preoccupied with themselves in their relationships. Spending a lot of time together can limit their daily social life. Interactions with friends will gradually be reduced over time killing friendships. Teens need to maintain friendship bonds they have built with others while also constantly checking up on their loved ones.
Healthy relationships are those whose foundations are built on trust. Honesty is the best gift couples can offer each other in a relationship. Advice kids to always be open and reveal the truth when dealing with their partners. Honesty is a recipe for a happy relationship.
News reports and media coverage have revealed an increased number of teen involvement in sex. According to the Kenya Health Information Management System (KHIS), there was a reported 151,433 teen pregnancies for girls aged 10-19 years, for the period January-May 2020. Teenagers are getting intimate and having sex behind their parents’ back, or in this case, we can say backyard. Adopt a steadfast approach as a parent and encourage your kids to abstain. If they choose to engage in sex they should use protection. However, be quick to point out the risks and consequences of teenage sex and how it can be detrimental to their future ambitions. Warn them against having multiple sex partners and always be keen to spot out predators.
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Ultimately parents always want the very best for their kids. To achieve this they need to play a guiding role to help their children navigate through different situations in life. Step up and help shape your child’s path in life.