When your teenager begins to date, things start changing within the household. There may be a need for more privacy and they may be staying out later without checking in with you. This can be even more challenging if they are dating, and you are not. With this new lifestyle, new rules must be instated to make you both more comfortable yet giving them the space to grow into adulthood and experience new relationships.
Create a Blueprint. Create a new accounting for your child of your expectations on curfews and checking in, allowing them freedom but also putting your mind at ease.
Donate a Night. Give your child a night without you in your home, so they can cook or entertain like they will when they move away for school. You might even buy them food for cooking or give them money for grocery shopping. Let them know what is and is not allowed, and that you trust them to do the right thing. That will feel good to the both of you.
Hug the Teen in You. Remember you too were once a teenager – recall what dating felt like when you were younger, the excitement and the fears. Make sure your child knows they can come and talk to you about anything they are feeling – or fearing, let them know you’ve been where they are now.
Allow It All In. Savor all these times in your child’s life, and yours. It flies by so fast and any opportunity to be a part of their life, their world, and their memories is amazing. Nurture your relationship with your child at every stage; you can be the one they come to for advice on the opposite sex as well as advice about all aspect of their life.
Celebrate the both of you, as you grow together!