How Do You Know If Your Teen Is Ready to Date?
Some good tips for parents.
by Coleen Kelly Mast, M.S. | Source: Catholic.net
At the age of sixteen, your teenager may be ready for the freedom of driving a car on his own. He has taken classes and practiced the discipline of driving under supervision.
What qualifies them to begin dating? Hormones? Emotions? Physical attraction? Hopefully much more than that. A teen that is ready to date should have sufficient character and self-discipline to participate in an adult friendship. Otherwise, it is a disservice to their date to let them loose to follow only their feelings.
Start with this checklist and see what other qualifications your teens should have before dating:
Would they be willing to pledge this statement before a date?
- Are they good at self-discipline?
- Are they kind and patient with your family and friends?
- Do they have good conversation skills?
- Do they have a number of solid friendships of their own gender and the opposite sex?
- Are they responsible and obedient at home and at school?
- Do they know and practice high moral standards?
- Are they honest with you, their parents?
- Have they proven to you that they can make good decisions on their own?
- Can they stick to your religious values even under pressure not to?
- Do they know enough people with solid moral values that would be worth their time to date?
- Can they go out and have fun without doing anything immoral or illegal?
- Have you discussed curfew and dating rules, and consequences for disobeying the rules?
I am aware that the way I act, dress, or speak may cause temptation for my date. I will be modest and thoughtful for our own protection.
I know that where we go, what we see, and who we´re with can affect my attitudes and behavior. In advance I will make careful and well-planned choices of how our entire date time is spent.
Self-control is a sign of strong character and maturity. I will work at this in all areas of my life, especially in my dating behavior.
Parents, remember that the growing independence of teens means not that they can do without you. In these last years of dependence you continue to give them directions for growing into adulthood so that God will be pleased with the person they become.
Coleen Kelly Mast is the Author of Sex Respect: The Option of True Sexual Freedom and Love and Life: A Christian Sexual Morality Guide for Teens. Each series has a workbook for teens and a complete guidebook for parents.
For more information please visit her Web site www.SexRespect.com
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