Got your adult chat room - Parent advice for teen dating

Many parents of Christian teens feel some anxiety when their teen goes off on a first date. If you trust your teen to date, then you need to let go a little bit. If it helps, offer your teenager a cell phone so he or she can call you if needed.

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It is also important that you listen to your child when he or she speaks.

When the two of you understand each other, trust and openness is built up. As you start to notice your teen's growing interest in members of the opposite sex you may want to start thinking about the rules you want to set.

RELATED: Living with a mood swingin' tween To get any personal info on your teen's dating, it's usually helpful to have some "grapevine" info to start with, like, "I heard that you and Sarah were going out … I'd rather hear the real scoop from you than have to rely on gossip." But don't expect a big download. Just because another mom has a Chatty Cathy, that doesn't mean your Clam-up Kid is "less close" to you. Younger teens usually pursue their romantic interests via texts and third parties who scout out whether the other party is interested.

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.

This is where the parent network can really come in handy.

Parents should tune into the grapevine: Your teen may not be talking, but usually one of them is.Be sure to not just se the rules, but also explain where the ground rules come from.Also, be willing to discuss some exceptions to the rules, like a later curfew when your teen goes to a school dance. Before you hit the panic button, heed the advice of clinical psychologist Dr.Laura Kastner, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington, and author of Getting to Calm: Cool-headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens and Teens. What are the best strategies for opening up a dialogue about dating? Start on the outside of the topic of socializing, and hunt and peck.Even though your teenager is a Christian, it does not necessarily mean he or she can make dating decisions without guidance.

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