Teen Dating Today

Teaching Responsibility

Teaching Responsibility

Just the thought for some parents brings about anxiety like no other. Especially for parents of teenage daughters. In a society in which most social ideals are riddled with hyper-sexual imagery and concepts, you can’t help but worry about your baby girl being alone with a boy you hardly know. As parents, we are already in this never-ending tug of war with the parent on one side of the child and the rest of the world (and its influences)on the other. We don’t want to be the source of independence prevention, actually we really want our children to be independent, yet responsible, that’s key to survival in today’s world. However, we continue to worry because we can’t control everything or everyone. We want to assume our teen children will be on their best behavior, but the truth is we can only hope that what we’ve taught will stand firm in their confused little heads. Yes, I say confused because while we’re teaching (some preaching) in one ear, HE is whispering some pretty fascinating (slick) things in the other ear. Okay, let me stop. Nothing against boys. But lets face it, during the teen years, “hormones are a’ragin”. Unfortunately the human body is continuing to evolve and has yet to catch up with the fast growing pace of society. In another time in history this would not necessarily be an issue because teen boys at 13 in many cultures were seen as men. They hunted, gathered, produced children. In today’s society our children greatly depend upon the parent for survival. I’ve have heard many parents say, “I trust you, I just don’t trust him”. Well, as far as I’m concerned, I don’t trust neither one of you, ha! How about that! Simply because I know in many cases children/teens will do whatever they feel they can get away with. Especially in situations when the parent is NOT present. I have worked with teens for several years and you would be amazed at what parents don’t know. So, the question is, do you feel your child is responsible? Do you feel as a parent you have done what you can to educate your child on responsibility, sex education, relationships, recognizing the signs of manipulation vs innocence. Another thought to consider is your childs level of self-confidence or self-worth. If she lacks in self esteem, (with boys) she will act accordingly. There’s nothing wrong with accompanying your teen on the first date or the second date, yet keeping your distance of course. Also understand if the teens are allowed to be alone, please understand this sets the precedence for future outings alone, so be mindful. Teens are good for saying, “You let me do it last time”. Breaking consistency brings about resentment and mistrust. So what ever you do make sure you maintain an open line of communication, establish boundaries, but also reward signs of responsibility. #whatareyourthoughts -Noni Ayana

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