Parents are dating

Others may be uncomfortable even mentioning birth control and STIs, but they should give their child contact information of another trusted adult, doctor or clinic where they can get the protection they need.

If parents want to reduce the likelihood that their teens are having sex, they should help arrange for them to stay busy with academics and after-school activities under adult supervision.

“A more successful approach comes from mutually agreed-upon guidelines.” Discuss curfew, group and private dating, whether you want to meet their date first and how they’ll inform you of their welfare and whereabouts while they’re out.

Mom, dad and the kids should all participate in the meeting and keep an open mind as others make a case for specific parameters.

The old worries about teen pregnancy, tarnished reputations and broken hearts still apply, but today there are new risks due to rising rates of dating violence and sexually-transmitted infections (STIs).

“‘Let’s think about it for a few days and meet on a Saturday to talk it through.’” Parents shouldn’t go into it thinking they’re going to lay down the law.

“Even the word ‘rules’ tends to lead to a struggle with teenagers,” says Ponton, who has two children and two step-children, now all in their 20s.

“Discuss with them what they’ll do if they start to feel unsafe,” says Ponton.

“America has the highest rate of date rape in the world, and the statistics are very high among teens and young adults.” Make sure they know never to meet someone alone that they encountered online. Come pick me up at our spot down the street.” Talk Safe Sex When your teen starts dating, it’s time to discuss specific safe sex methods. When a sexual encounter comes up, Brown says parents can ask, “Where was the talk about protection?

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