When teen dating becomes too much
Standing awkwardly next to one another at a school dance and maybe holding hands?
Possibly a slow dance, one hand on shoulder, other hand on hip, plenty of daylight in between bodies? Don’t misunderstand us: we’re not so naïve as to think all middle schoolers are lily-white innocents, and you shouldn’t be, either.
In a respectful relationship, your significant other:with a love interest, talk them through these bullet points. Emotions and mistakes can be understood and forgiven – as long as individuals own their emotions, admit their mistakes, and work to maintain regain trust when things go off-kilter.
Remind them that compromise in a relationship does not mean they compromise on non-negotiables such as emotional, physical, and digital boundaries. Compromise means coming to a mutual decision on what movie to go see, where to sit at lunch, or what time to meet at the mall – not shifting their reasoned decisions on important matters or abandoning their personal values and ideals. Love and romance at any age can be confusing and chaotic, for that matter. There are, however, certain behaviors that constitute genuine red flags, and indicate that a relationship – or one person’s approach to a relationship – is dysfunctional and potentially toxic.
When our kids reach this stage, we smile and reminisce. If we’re honest with ourselves, most of us parents admit we still have work to do in our relationships with our spouses, partners, or romantic interests.
Whether we’re divorced and dating casually, in a decades-long marriage, or in a serious committed relationship, virtually everyone has more to learn about how to keep relationships happy, fulfilling, loving, and above all else, healthy.
If and when they do start dating, however, it’s important they understand the basic notions of boundaries and respect at their most fundamental, non-dating levels, then learn how these ideas play out in the wide, wonderful (terrifying for parents) world of relationships and dating.
The parent resource website Ten to Twenty Parenting offers great advice on the role of respect in romantic relationships. Inside all that, though, a romantic relationship should be something that enriches life and adds love and joy rather than stress and negativity.
They should be worrying about passing the next trig exam and finishing their group project for history class.Hence the snowball effect evident in the last two years of the data. If openness and directness are keys to keeping kids from having sex too early (we hope can agree that before thirteen is too early), then we assert that it’s important for you to be open and direct with your teenager about relationship dynamics, too.That way they won’t develop dysfunctional relationship habits early on.Parents face a tough set of decisions when their teens reach dating age.We’re talking about actual romantic dating, not elementary and middle school crushes that are all sugar and no spice.