Should You Let Your Teen Date? Advice from a Teen

Today is Teen Tuesday and I will have a number of different articles from my wonderful teen writers, a few are on Teens and dating.  Many of their articles are a fascinating glimpse into the way they think about dating, boys, girls and parents.

This is Samantha. She is a 17-year-old aspiring fashion journalist who lives in the OC.

Throughout the course of my life, I have encountered that question of  “dating” with my parents. Actually, I have just begun dating so I am pretty new at the whole thing.

My parents always shot down me wanting to go out alone to an outing with that “friend” during my younger years. Primarily, from what they told me, because I was not at that “step” yet; not at that age yet. Now 17 years old, being that I am more mature and wiser, my parents and I have taken that “step” to the next level.

Of course before every outing with my special “friend”, I am reminded of the dating precautions that I should never get myself into (hand over my drink, don’t take any “candy” from him or anyone, etc.). Of course, being reminded every time, my response sometimes is, “yes mom I know.” I think that now having barely starting to date, my parents are still a bit hesitant to let me go to an outing alone with my “friend” in the hopes to not acknowledge the fact that their little girl is growing up.

It takes time for parents to let go, even if you are in the beginning phases of dating. I know from experience that dating for me is new and exciting, but for my parents it’s still a mesmerizing stare at the clock, anticipating my arrival home. From my dating experiences, I have started small and am working my way up to more “big” dates.

In a way, I am glad that I have started to date at the age I am now. I think that if I started to date any younger than 17 years old, I wouldn’t appreciate it as much and I would take the whole experience for granted. Yes, I complained about how all my other friends were dating before me and how it was unfair, but now that I appreciate my parents “No.”

We can together enjoy the funny and embarrassing moments of me totally eating asphalt in front of my “friend” at the beach, along with my other memorable dating moments. When giving dating advice to parents I would say:

-To be very diligent in the types of guys/girls your child is interested in dating. Often the “players” are not the right choice for your son/daughter, and they only want one thing and that is not a committed relationship.

-Make sure you glance at your sons/daughters outfit before sending them off to their date. For the girls, it should be nothing revealing and appropriate for the date. For the guys, nothing should be sagging, you want them to look like a gentlemen, not a hoodlum.

-Be open to listen to how the date went. Listen first, and then you can put your two sense in.

-Be open to your teen about the whole dating experience. Let them know how you feel. I promise you, it makes your life and your teens life a lot easier to know what your thinking.

Dating can be fun and exciting if both parents and their children are on the same page. So, if you are having trouble with your teen about “dating,” first help them be on the same page as you, I promise you it will make a huge difference in your relationship.

My name is Samantha. I am a 17-year-old aspiring fashion journalist who lives in the OC.

2 Responses to “Should You Let Your Teen Date? Advice from a Teen”

  1. Stephen Pardue
    April 26, 2009 at 2:34 pm #

    As a 17 year old teenager I believe teens should not be able to date EVER. Period. Why? I got my girlfriend pregnant and now my life is ruined. Do you want your kid’s life to get ruined? If you don’t DO NOT LET THEM DATE.

  2. Lisa
    August 3, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

    I didn’t date till I was older either. Its true, you should reinforce all the precautions; there are more ‘players’ than ever these days! I must stress, in talking, its good to take an interested attitude in discussing and asking questions, nothing will shut them up faster than being all harsh.

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