It’s every father’s nightmare: something bad happens to your daughter while she’s out on a date. But, dating doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience for you, or your child. Here’s how to survive it without being a helicopter parent.
Set Limits, Rational Ones
If your daughter starts her dating adventures before getting her driver’s license, you should offer to pick her (and her date) up or drive her around. Driving them will give you the chance to help set limits. You can help her set boundaries concerning time spent with her SO on the weekend and during the week. It also lets you be in the car with them, listening and engaging them both.
But, be careful not to eavesdrop or be an “unwelcomed pest.” Why? Because you will create resistance. It’s a balancing act for you, just as much as it is for them.
Help Her Find The Balance
If you see the relationship is going too far, too fast, you can talk to your daughter and help her understand that, while not unusual, it’s not normal to “rush” things. If that doesn’t solve the issue, talk to both of them together. Do it in a non-threatening way that respects their own individuality and freedom as young adults. You will not only gain their respect, but they will also see that you’re trying to help them instead of just trying to tell them what they can’t do.
Engaged parents have a much easier time talking to their daughters when they’re alone. Moms especially tend to have a better time talking to their daughters than fathers. Daughters often see their dad as their protector, whereas moms are seen as more nurturing.
Educate Your Daughter About S-E-X
Look, your daughter is going to do whatever she feels like in regards to sex. You cannot prevent it from happening. If she wants it, she’ll find a way to sneak around with her boyfriend or girlfriend. What you can do is talk to her about it.
Talk to her about birth control, menstrual cycles, her breasts and how they will change over time. You can talk about the pleasure, and responsibility, of sex.
It doesn’t have to be a formal education in sex, but it should cover the basics so that she at least knows what to do to control things like pregnancy, what to expect during her first time, and so on.
Talk To Her About Safe Driving
Usually, when teens go out on a date, they drive. Emphasize safety if she’s got her driver’s license. There are so many car accident claims in St Louis that car crashes are one of the leading causes of deaths for teenagers.
Making sure your daughter understands how to drive safely is very important.
Do Not Lecture Her
Do you remember when you were a teenager? You didn’t like being lectured to. Your daughter doesn’t like it either. Maybe you think you know better. You probably do. But you won’t get through to her by lecturing her. Won’t happen.
Instead, you should teach her by showing her natural consequences for actions. She is learning the type of boy or girl she’s attracted to, as well as how her behaviors affect who she attracts. If you lecture her, you will only push her away from you, not draw her closer.
Charles Phillips is raising two daughters on his own. Now at the age where boys have become of interest, he worries about his princesses kissing princes, never mind frogs! Charles writes about family life and parenting issues online.
Featured image via gospelrelevance.com
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