A Parents Guide: Surviving Your Teenager’s First Crush

Set Realistic Dating Boundaries and Consequences

As a mom with a teenage daughter, this topic has made me somewhat nervous.  I know that my daughter is growing up and that I can’t shield her from learning real world experiences until she is out of my house.  However, as a mom I do know that it is important to set realistic boundaries that she can follow while still living at home and maintain relationships with friends of the opposite sex.  It is important to talk to your teen about your expectations, so that they know and understand the rules and consequences for breaking the boundaries that you have set for them.  This is a tough topic for most parents but it is important to keep the lines of communication open so that they will come to you when they have a problem.  When talking to your teen about dating, it is important that you don’t show any signs of nervousness.

Respect Your Teenager’s Privacy

Your teenager probably doesn’t want you snooping into every aspect of their personal lives, so it is important for you to give your child some privacy.  When they go on a date, it is important that you don’t ask them 100 questions.  Teenagers sometimes do need help getting out of an awkward situation, so it is important to make sure they know that you will come pick them up at anytime so that they have an escape route.  Most teenagers will talk to their friends about their crush or who they are dating so it is important to listen to what they are saying occasionally.  Also, you want to make sure that you teenager isn’t participating in sexting which is becoming a popular trend among teenagers.

Explain the Difference Between Dating, Love, and Sex to Your Teenager

Most teenagers don’t realize that there is a difference between dating, love, and sex.  It is important as a parent that you discuss what each of these terms mean so that your teenager understands that they aren’t the same thing.  Explain that love goes far deeper than liking someone or getting butterflies in your tummy when you are around them.  Dating allows you to get to know someone on a more personal level and learn who they really are and what they enjoy.  However, many teenagers think that dating involves sex.  It is important to instill your moral values in your children and teach them that love is more than just a physical or sexual relationship.

Reward Your Teenager for Keeping Up With Their Responsibilities While They are Dating

When it comes to dating, your teenager needs to know that it is still important that they are taking care of their responsibilities such as maintaining their grades and doing their chores at home.  If your child uses the phone or a cell phone, it is important to set reasonable limits so that they aren’t constantly on the phone or texting when they should be taking care of their responsibilities.  Once they have taken care of their responsibilities without you having to remind them constantly, it is important to reward them and allow them to spend time with their date.

Teach Your Teen That Dating Can Be Expensive

Some teenagers don’t have a job and rely on their parents to pay for their dating adventures, so your teenager needs to know that you don’t mind giving them a reasonable amount of money occasionally but they may have to find activities that don’t cost money to do.  A teenager who has a job, might have a bit more flexibility with their finances and can go on more outings as long as their responsibilities are taken care of first, especially if they have a car.

What Is Your Responsibility as a Parent to Make Ensure That You Maintain A Healthy Relationship with Your Teen While They are Dating Someone?

Parents it is important that you set the expectations when your teenager begins dating their first crush.  This will set the tone for any subsequent dates or relationships that your child will encounter during the rest of their teenage years.

  • Set firm boundaries.
  • Be flexible and allow your child to go on group dates if you don’t feel as if he or she is old enough to go on one on one dates alone.
  • Keep the lines of communication open.
  • Be honest with your child.
  • Always give your child an escape route in case they end up in a situation that is uncomfortable for them.
  • Support them as long as they are following the rules.
  • Be there for them if they need someone to listen to them or for a shoulder to cry on.

How old was your teenager when they first started dating?


11 responses to “A Parents Guide: Surviving Your Teenager’s First Crush”

  1. Pepper Tan Avatar

    It’s going to be a few more years before my daughter hits her teen years. I’m dreading it, totally! But I guess if I arm myself with this knowledge, I could handle anything. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Christy Avatar

      Yes it is better to be educated beforehand and learn the importance of open communication now. 🙂

  2. April - My Bizarre Family Avatar

    Very good tips. I love the tip of setting an escape route in case they end up in a dangerous or sticky situation. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Christy Avatar

      Thank you April. I think the escape route makes the feel that they can come to you no matter what the situation is.

  3. Steph~ Avatar

    Christy, another BEST OF Christy article~ 🙂 I value how you included so many necessary points such as boundaries, communication, morals, and the differences between love, dating, and sex. Thank you for being the dedicated mom, wife, friend, and Sister-In-Christ you are EVERY day~ XO Steph~

    1. Christy Avatar

      Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. 🙂

  4. Steph~ Avatar

    p.s.- My dm’s aren’t working to reply to anyone 🙁 & I needed to talk w/you tonight although have zero cel signal to talk from hospital so I hope I can call you tomorrow~

  5. Cynthia Avatar

    Thank you for sharing. Those teen years are tough for kids, it’s great to set up an environment where both parent & child and speak about dating openly.

    1. Christy Avatar

      I agree Cynthia thank you for sharing.

  6. Crazed in the Kitchen Avatar

    I loved this article. My boys are little now–just 4 and 2–but I don’t think it’s ever too early to open the lines of communication with your kids. If they are comfortable talking to me now, and know I will listen, then I hope that relationship will follow us into their teenage years. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Christy Avatar

      I agree, starting now will pave the way for a great relationship going into those teenage years.