Whether you like it or not, your tween and teens are at the age where they are interested in dating. It can be scary, but local professional matchmaker Hope Rike has some tips on how to navigate this interesting time.
According to Hope, there’s no set time for when your teens should or should not date. Children mature at different rates, so there isn’t a rule on the age a child should reach before they start dating. Parents know their kids best and it’s really a decision they need to make based on whether their kids are ready to handle the emotions that come with dating. It can be easier when parents set the tone with expectations from the get-go, like knowing where they are going and who they are going with.
Rike says that we as parents should set good dating behaviors, be a role model on good dating habits. Kids do what they see their parents do, so parents should make sure they’re modeling good dating behavior.
Another rule, always meet the date. A great practice for parents is to always meet the date. This allows them to “vet” the person and let their teen know that they’re paying attention. This isn’t about intimidation, but more about creating a dialogue with the date and keeping open communication with their teen.
Parents should encourage their teen to take things slow and even date in a group to take the pressure off at the start, even thought it can be hard. Experts suggest teens limit date to no more than twice a week. This gives them time to see other friends, keep up with their schoolwork and still have space for sports and hobbies.