The teenage years are full of firsts, including first dates. As exciting as it is for your teen, it can be equally terrifying for you as a parent. It’s important that you lay the ground rules so that all expectations are understood. It’s a good idea to provide your teenager with rules to follow while out on a date.
Rule 1: Know Who
Teens should be expected to bring their dates in to meet the parents. Your teenager may complain and feel uncomfortable, but it’s important. Lead a discussion of curfew and expectations with both teenagers.
Rule 2: No Drug or Alcohol Use
Absolutely no drugs or alcohol are to be used by anyone during the date or group outing. While this may seem like a common sense rule, it’s important to reestablish it.
Be sure to discuss what your teenager should do if he finds himself in a situation where others are making choices he doesn’t agree with. He needs to know how to get himself in a safer situation. Make sure he knows that you are available to pick him up regardless of time and circumstance.
Rule 3: Take it Slow
When your teen finds someone truly special, encourage her to take it slow. Determine a reasonable amount of time to be spent with phone calls, text messaging and dates with her boyfriend. Teenagers are full of intense and overwhelming emotions. Be sure your teen is not forsaking friends and activities she enjoys consistently to spend time with one person.
Rule 4: Have a Plan
Your teen should have a plan for his date. Not having a plan can lead to opportunities for poor decision making. It can also leave your teen in a situation he never intended to be in. A fun plan also makes for an easier, less stressful date for the teenagers.
Rule 5: Be Home By Curfew
Ask for your teenager’s input on his curfew. This can help him be more willing to honor it. You have the final say, but allowing his input shows you respect his growing maturity and independence. Establish the consequences of failing to meet curfew.