When a teen starts to get interested in romantic relationships, it can be nerve-wracking for parents. You may wonder if your teen boy is about to step into a serious relationship and if there is anything you can do to help him take a healthy, mature approach to dating, sex and love. No matter what you do, your teen will think they are doing the right things and putting aside almost everything else in favor of their boyfriend or girlfriend. Yuu don’t want him dating too young and too soon.
If your teen boy is in a serious relationship, you may notice a series of behaviors, such as he spends more time with his girlfriend than with anybody else, neglects his friends and family and goes out of his way to bend the rules to be with her. There are many disadvantages to dating so seriously so young. You may find that he is ignoring homework, missing school and even lying to spend more time with his girlfriend. While you want to allow them to spend time together, there are certain things you can do to help ensure that things don’t get too serious too quickly.
If you haven’t already, make sure you have some time to spend talking to your teen about whatever topic comes up, not just about his relationship. If he feels comfortable talking to you about other topics, it will be easier for him to open up about his new relationship. As you listen, don’t criticize or be judgmental of what your son is telling you. Instead, listen and offer open ended questions and conversation-starting comments. Above all, talk to your son about what a healthy relationship is like so that he can work to achieve that. He will also be able to recognize something faulty and hopefully won’t settle for that.
Your son may want to spend all his time with his girlfriend, but as a parent, you’ll need to set limits on them being together. Make sure you encourage your son to pay attention to his friends independent of her. He’ll also need to be encouraged to do the hobbies he once enjoyed, like video gaming or playing a sport. Be clear bout the house rules, like curfews, and be consistent on enforcing consequences if those rules are broken.
Just because your son may be in a serious relationship doesn’t mean he has to spend all his time with just one person. Help him set up a fun movie night with a bunch of friends and his girlfriend, or offer to take them all to a local amusement center or rec center. The more he spends time with others, the less time he’s spending exclusively with the girlfriend.
Prepare for a Breakup
No matter how much your teen son wants it to go on, the serious relationship will end sooner rather than later. It’s always a good idea to keep your teen’s head firmly on the ground when it comes to putting too much personal info on social media. You can warn your teen that he shouldn’t put anything online that he might be embarrassed about. You can also help him gain perspective in the event that the breakup does happen.
No matter how well you handle the news of your son starting to date someone seriously, there are good reasons to not encourage such exclusive dating. Your son has plenty of time to get serious, but you have to walk the fine line between guiding him to be responsible in dating and putting limits on himself concerning his involvement with a new girlfriend.