What To Do When Your Daughter Starts Dating

Written by on January 23, 2020 in Relationships & Sex with 0 Comments

Raising kids is often a scary experience. It is a joyous and wonderful undertaking, but it is definitely not without its challenges. One of the biggest challenges is managing their transition from children to adults, part of which involves helping them navigate their first real romantic relationship.

If your daughter has just started dating and is at or approaching an age where her relationship might turn serious, it is important that she has your support. Below are some vital survival tips to help you both make it through.

Keep Things In Perspective

Whenever our children start dating, it can be both a proud and scary time for parents. It is only natural for parents to be more concerned about their daughters dating than their sons. We’re not saying that young women can’t look after themselves, nor that the men they date are to automatically be treated with suspicion, but it is an inescapable fact of biology that women can fall pregnant and that men are generally stronger. It is also true, albeit a sad indictment of our society, that men are more likely to be controlling or violent towards their partners.

Thankfully, most men are not abusers and most sensible young couples will be able to avoid pregnancy in spite of their intimacy. But every parent should be aware of the risks and should remain mindful of their child’s safety and wellbeing. If you are prone to overthinking things and worrying excessively, your daughter’s first serious relationship will give you plenty to overthink and worry about, but it is important that you keep these concerns, valid as they may be, in check.

Being aware of the issues that your daughter will be facing will help you to communicate with her and steer her through the sometimes choppy waters of her first relationship. But if you are allowing yourself to be freaked out and scared by her dating, your fears and anxieties will rub off on her and can exacerbate her own insecurities. It is important that you are keeping things in perspective and not letting your worst fears rule your emotions.

If this is your daughter's first proper relationship, then she will likely have a number of fears and doubts all of her own. If you are not able to keep things in perspective and paint a realistic picture of the potential pitfalls of a relationship, then your daughter will find it difficult to keep her own perspective in check. Without her own relationship experience to look back on, your daughter will most likely look to you and your partner, if you are still together, for cues on how to behave. Make sure that whenever she looks to you for guidance, she sees a respectful, reasonable, and thoughtful parent who has a handle on the situation.

Be Approachable And Trustworthy

Most of us can remember our first relationships. Some children grow up being very close to their parents emotionally, and these people sharing their feelings regarding their relationship comes naturally. However, many of us will have wanted our parents to stay as far away from their relationships as possible. We can all remember what it's like to be young and in love, when it first happens, it can be a somewhat overwhelming experience.

You know your daughter better than anyone and so it will be up to your judgment to decide whether she will want you to be heavily involved or not. Regardless of how she feels or professes to feel, you should make sure that you are always approachable and that she knows that she can trust you if she does have any concerns or questions to ask.

One of the more difficult aspects of this for a parent to get right is working out exactly how involved they should try and be. If your daughter is clearly uncomfortable whenever you ask questions about her relationship, you should ease into things and not push her to open up before she is ready. Instead of trying to force the issue and encourage your daughter to speak to you even if she isn't comfortable, it is much more effective to ensure that she knows you are available if and when she does want to open up to you.

When it comes to first relationships, many young people will turn to the parent of the same gender for advice. However, this is not the case for everyone. Some families are short one parent, and in others, it may be that the daughter feels more comfortable talking to her father about her relationship than her mother.

If your daughter has a clear preference for either you or your partner when it comes to discussing her relationship you should respect her wishes. Above all else, do not take it personally if your daughter seems to prefer talking to your partner instead of you. The main thing is that she has someone to talk to that she feels she can trust.

Take An Interest In Their Partner (And Subtly Check Them Out)

It is only natural for parents to be curious about their child's romantic partners. However, not all parents are very good at striking the right balance here. There is a right way and a wrong way to go about taking an interest in your daughter's partner. What you don't want to do is come across as an overbearing parent who does not trust their daughter to make sensible decisions. You may well disapprove of the person that she chooses to date, but you can still respect that person and respect her decision to be involved with them romantically.

If you do have concerns about her partner and you want to do some digging to check up on them, you should try and do this in as subtle a way as possible. A glance at their social media profiles should give you an overview of what they are like as a person, and if there are red flags to be discovered, this is where they are likely to be thrown up.

When you still aren't satisfied with the information that you find, you can use a service like publicrecordsreviews.com to find out more about them. The website contains publicly-available records, including criminal records and arrest records, you can search their database for anyone you want to check out. You can also use these records to verify their family background. For example, if your daughter’s boyfriend is adamant that his parents are deceased and that’s why you can’t meet them, you might want to search for obituary records to make sure, which can be done through the following link – https://www.publicrecordsreviews.com/obituary-records.

If you are suspicious about their partner or their story, it is a good idea to dig a little deeper, but you should not make it too obvious that this is what you are doing. If your daughter thinks that you are checking up on her and her partner behind her back, it will diminish that all-important sense of trust between you both.

Discuss PDA With Them

It's 2020, and public displays of affection are not the taboo that they once were. However, as anyone who has had to share public transport with canoodling teenagers can attest to, there is such a thing as being too comfortable with one another.

You don't want your daughter to feel ashamed of her partner or unable to express herself, but you also need to make sure that she understands what is and is not appropriate when in public. If you feel like your daughter and her partner are overdoing it with their public displays of affection, it can be a difficult subject to broach with them.

Learning about physical intimacy is an important part of early relationships. Physical intimacy does not begin with sexual intercourse, most of us have years, in some cases decades, of hand-holding and light petting to get through first. It is important that your daughter knows what she is comfortable with and where her limits lie. If your daughter has expressed concerns about the speed at which her relationship is moving, encouraging her to rethink her approach to PDAs can help her and her partner to understand and respect one another's boundaries better.

Be Open And Honest About Sex And Sexual Health

When it comes to daughters, some parents have an unhealthy fear of her ever having sex. Of course, not only is it inevitable that at your daughter will one day have sex, but it is also so very unlikely that she will be seeking your permission beforehand. Instead of trying to win an unwinnable battle and maintain an archaic sense of purity, it is much better to be open and honest about sex and sexual health so that your daughter feels comfortable approaching you when the time comes.

If she is not comfortable talking to you about these subjects, don't take it personally. Instead, make sure that she knows that you are there for her and that you only want what is best for her.

It is also important that your daughter understands the importance of condoms, especially if she is at an age where sexual encounters are likely. Some parents feel uneasy or flat-out appalled at the thought of providing their daughter with condoms, thinking that this is going to encourage her to have sex. On the contrary, all a condom will do is ensure that if she does have sex, pregnancy and STIs will not be on the menu.

You can’t stop your children from growing up, nor can you expect them to remain children forever. Of course, how old your daughter is when she starts dating will affect the approach that you take to the situation. But regardless of your daughter’s age, you should aim to let her know that you are always there for her and always on her side as soon as possible. As long as you remain respectful and approachable, the entry of your daughter into the dating world is nothing to be afraid of.

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