“They may offer vague advice such as, ’Take care of yourself,’ instead of addressing specific issues.
Specific conversations can be uncomfortable, but they help convey a clearer message.” Scott suggests asking your child if any of his or her friends are dating, and if they are, she recommends asking about those relationships. How can you tell if someone is showing you the respect you deserve? • Your partner forces you to have sex against your will.
Relationships are hard to come by and even harder to make work in the long term.
For some people they are a mystery too obscure to solve.
“Our research does suggest that young teens with older partners are twice as likely to report these sexual relationships as ’non-voluntary,’ or that they didn’t choose to have sex of their own free will,” she says.
“However, eight out of 10 females reported their sexual relationship with an older male was voluntary.” Scott is quick to point out that even if both partners believe the contact was voluntary, state statutory rape laws are based on the age of the parties involved.
Teen boys and girls feel pressure to have sex for different reasons, but engaging in sexual activity is a means of validation for both.
Scott says it’s important to talk with your sons and daughters about dating and what makes for an appropriate romantic relationship—preferably when they’re pre-teens.
©/ wundervisuals In one year, you’ve watched the girl who needed constant reminders to wash her face and brush her teeth grow into a young woman who hogs the bathroom and is ready for her first boyfriend.
The transition to dating can be emotional not only for her, but also for you.
“Teens are far less likely to confide in you in the future if you forbid them to date,” she says.
Above all, keep the conversation going with your son and daughter, says Scott.
“One of the most important things parents can convey to their kids is that they’re always going to be there for them,” he says.