“We don’t have the vocabulary and we don’t have the experiences to be able to help.
We’re learning this at the same time our children are navigating through it.” What follows is a teen dating primer to help your child — and you — forge the valley between child and young adult.
Broken hearts after a breakup are real, too, and just as with adults, there’s no timetable for recovery.
These first relationships usually don’t go beyond chatting, posing for pictures later posted on social media and requests to attend coed group outings.Young teens have especially fragile egos, so negative peer feedback on social media can be especially damaging.Kids today don’t plunge into dating without first going through the “talking to each other” phase.Of course, kids who already have relationships — and even some still in the talking phase — will go with that special person, but still as part of a group. If that’s the case, the only thing you can do is offer support and perhaps plan a trip or outing for that night.To college students, hooking up means having casual sex.Even 14- and 15-year-olds can fall in love, Reardon says.“To a child or teenager who is experiencing this, it is very real and very important,” she says.He feels comfortable with these early forays because “we’ve given him the talk about the need to respect young ladies and what we expect of him.” What to watch for: Smartphones and social media can lay traps for preteens and young teens.Parents should establish ground rules for texting members of the opposite sex and explain the importance of avoiding any form of “sexting.” Parents should also monitor their child’s text conversations and follow/friend them on any social media sites where they have accounts.Yes, the prom as we knew it still exists, but even its drama pales in comparison to today’s boy-girl relationship issues.“It’s not your parents’ dating anymore,” concedes Robin Gurwitch, a clinical psychologist at the Duke Center for Child and Family Health.