Maybe she's already announced that she has, or you found out by noticing a change in her relationship status on Facebook.As frightening as it might be to talk with your child about romantic relationships, open discussion is imperative. If the two of you communicate openly, your child is much more likely to come to you with his questions and worries, and to allow you to positively influence his choices.Abuse is a choice and there are resources and counselors that can help him or her understand the consequences, the alternatives to violence, and how to stop the abuse.If your teen isn’t ready to openly communicate with you about his or her relationship, let him or her know there are confidential resources and trained individuals available to answer questions and help avoid unhealthy relationships.They march off en masse to the mall or to the movies, or join a gang tossing a Frisbee on the beach.
"If you're going to tell them no about something, you've got to explain why," Saltz says. Teens need to know how to watch out for danger signs, like controlling partners and pressure to have sex before they're ready.
Pairs this young might declare themselves to be a couple even though they don't spend much time together. It may be talking on the phone," says psychiatrist Gail Saltz, who specializes in relationships.
"It may be in school and not out of school." Many teens also spend time together in groups, so pairing off doesn't necessarily mean spending time alone together. "Whenever parents tighten the reins too much, that's when the rebellion happens," Fogarty says.
If your teen wants to start dating, there's nothing to be afraid of.
Your guidance on whether it's appropriate to date and how to be careful in the realm of romantic relationships will help him navigate this crucial part of growing up.
Talk to your teen about the relationships he's seen and how he knows what a healthy relationship looks and feels like. Manthorne suggests stressing that it's OK for her to talk about sensitive subjects with another trusted adult as long as she's talking with someone.