Thankfully, God is still stronger than the world, and He wants to protect your teen in the midst of temptation.Good news: Your teenager can maintain healthy, God-honoring relationships. You have the power to redefine dating for your teenager, using strategies that can help you and your teen to navigate relational waters.Long before the first date, teach your child about dating.In the early preteen years, help her to build a godly foundation for relationships. When your preteen seeks God, the world of dating (and your role as a parent) is a lot less stressful.Dating customs have changed since you were a teenager.
All we can do is try to strike up conversations that may give us some clues over time. Younger teens may "go out" (meaning: explore the idea of being a "couple") and break up and never even have a face-to-face conversation.If we stay respectful and keep sniffing around the perimeter of their social worlds, we'll usually learn something of their romantic world. Teens, especially those in high school and college, may refer to "hooking up," and that term can include anything from kissing at a party to sexual intercourse. Teens deny that any coupling up is occurring so that teens can maximize their independence.Parents allow more freedom when they don't think dating or sexual interests are part of the mix.If you feel like trust was broken, a lock down may be necessary. Each week contestants never know what their challenge would be. If the door has been wide open, it's okay to shut it, a little, a lot, or completely. In your teen's world, getting "asked out" may mean cementing an exclusive relationship after weeks of "talking" online, texting, or Facebooking.Teenagers still flirt, date, and fall in love - but with a whole new set of rules. Knowing this limitation eliminates verbal boxing matches. Unlike the singing talent show, we don't eliminate our sons or daughters. We remember their dreams, cheering their wins and comforting their losses. Each week one or more contestants are sent home until the last two compete in the finale. The boy came in and met your parents; he paid for dinner; and you were home by p.m.Now, think about your teenager - and forget everything you know about dating.