Yesterday we discussed the importance keeping the lines of communication with your teen open. One of the things to discuss with your teen is the importance of sticking to a plan. There needs to be a plan in place for who to date, as well as, what to do on a date.
In talking with many teens today it is surprising that many will “go out” with almost anyone who asks. This is why it is important to have that previously discussed “spouse list”. A teen can then easily see who fits their criteria. It is very important to have standards as to who is datable. Sadly one of those standards is for the basic reason of safety. Girls especially need to be very careful who they choose to go out with. The date rape statistics on college campuses is staggering. We need to be training our teens about safety on dates beginning with who they choose to go out with.
Then regardless of how safe the potential date appears to be on paper, sticking to a plan on a date is something that will help with safety. Teens need to go into a date with a plan of what will happen. This is where our four important questions, who, what, where and when, come into play. Girls need to be asking these questions to the guys they go out with. They also need to have an “escape plan” if the date begins to change. This is where we as parents need to be a safety net for our teens. We need to be available for picking them up, even late at night, if the plan changes and they need to come home. We need to constantly communicate that we are there for them through this process. WE also need to affirm the fact that our teens a far too special not to be asking the “Who, What, Where and When Questions.” We can communicate, “Honey, if someone invited me to spend an evening socially with them, these are the questions even I would ask.”