In a previous article we looked at ways that a parent can prepare their teen daughter for that all important first date. The flip side of the coin is that parents themselves must go through a process to feel at peace with the fact that their daughter has reached another milestone on the journey of growing up and that a whole new host of situations and issues are on the horizon. This piece will offer some gentle advice on how parents can settle in to the fact that their little girl is not such a little girl after all. Teenage girls that are dating need a great amount of support and guidance from parents. Parents who are well prepared for this new facet of their child’s life will be in a much better position to offer that assistance and advice.
Accept That She Is Growing Up. Many parents wish they could freeze their children in time so that they will always be able to protect them and keep them close. All too soon, children are traveling on the road to adulthood with all the ups and downs that come with it. Though you may hold close in your heart the little girl who toddled around after you and couldn’t bear to let you out of her sight, see her as she is today – a confident and poised young lady who is ready to spread her wings a bit and enter the world of dating.
Take Comfort In All You Have Taught Her. You have surely had many conversations with your teenage daughter about right and wrong, conducting herself in a respectful manner and how to handle peer pressure. When sending your daughter out on her first date, remember that you have done your job as a parent in preparing her well for this day.
Seek The Advice Of Other Parents Who Have Already Been Through This. Friends and family members with daughters who have already begun to date will surely be able to offer invaluable advice on this new phase of parenthood. Every parent makes mistakes and you can benefit from other parents’ experiences and perceived missteps in dealing with their own teenage daughters. Be open to suggestions and pearls of wisdom from parents who have already been where you are and successfully navigated the waters.
Vow To Keep An Open Line Of Communication With Your Teen. Many parents choose to stick their heads in the sand and ignore the possible scenarios that can result from teen dating. This effectively leaves teenagers to fend for themselves in very difficult situations. If you have been blessed with a close relationship with your teenage daughter, now is the time for even more honesty and openness, so that she will comfortable sharing personal information with you about her dates and the boys she socializes with. If you have previously found these conversations uncomfortable and better left untouched, working through that discomfort and reluctance to discuss serious topics is paramount to ensure your daughter’s safety and decision making skills.