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          Parenting

          Teens and Dating

          September 03, 2002


          How young is too young? Dr. Phil says that teenagers, especially younger pre-teens, don’t need to have boyfriends and girlfriends. Still, he knows that young relationships do form. Here is his advice for parents:

        • Teenagers shouldn’t have serious dating relationships. No 14-year-old needs to have an intense boyfriend or girlfriend. Encourage group dates supervised by an adult.

        • Don’t allow your teenager to close the bedroom door when someone of the opposite sex is over. This should be a non-negotiable rule.

        • Talk with your teenager. The more conversations you have, the less likely he/she will be to get into trouble. If you’ve always kept the door open for discussions, your child will be more likely to come to you with questions or problems.

        • If you’re too oppressive and restrictive, you are guaranteeing rebellion. Use logic and reason when creating rules for your teenager.

        • Don’t just forbid certain activities, explain why you forbid them. Doing this will help your teenager understand that you’re not merely trying to be bossy or imposing arbitrary rules.

        • As a parent, it’s your job to teach your teenager the importance of self-worth. Teenagers who value themselves as they are won’t need to “find themselves” in other people.

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