Teens and Dating
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.