Parents with preteens who are starting to think about dating are often in a dilemma.
Preteens who are going on a date should not be doing anything more than holding hands, a hug, or a quick kiss. Parents should discuss with their preteens on how to handle situations. If they are not comfortable with hand-holding, etc., let them know they do not have to do anything they are uncomfortable with. Make sure your child has a cell phone. Some parents use a secret code with their children, such as “Is grandma coming over?” This can mean pick me up ASAP.
Preteens can spend time together doing things as going swimming, playing tennis, or just going for a bite to eat. They do not have to be doing things they will cost a lot of money.
Since girls mature more quickly, they may find boys their own age immature. At this age parents should try to discourage them from seeking boys older than them. Encourage them to stay with classmates their age, and socialize as friends.
Parents should try to keep their preteens busy with after school activities, sports, church groups, etc. Make sure they are keeping up with their schoolwork. Explain to them they have plenty of time to date as they get older. After all, there is time and a place for everything. Let them enjoy their childhood, and let them be kids!
Times nowadays are much different than they were years ago when it comes to preteen dating.
Parents with preteens who would rather play sports or hang out with same sex friends, is completely normal. Parents should encourage their children to meet other children through church activities, or sporting activities. Encourage your children to bring their friends home, so you can meet them and get to know them and their families. Making your home a friendly place where your children can bring their friends allows you to in control of your preteen’s activities. Always make sure of your child’s whereabouts. If they say they are going to a movie, and instead wind up by someone’s house for a party instead, this can mean trouble. Make sure they are competent adults available, where you can call them. Parents understand that we are now in the era of cell phones, and we should always be able to reach our kids. Try to get their friends cell phone numbers as well. Parents should make sure they have strict curfews, and let their preteens know what is expected from them.
The best scenario is group dating. Meet your kid’s friends and find out who is going, who is dropping them off and who is picking them up. Talk to the other parents involved to make sure they are in a healthy environment. If you are able to drive and pick them up, you might be able to hear conversation as to what is really going on.