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We caught up with two local experts on teen relationships and sexuality and asked for their tips on setting guidelines for kids entering the dating game.Lynn Ponton, University of California San Francisco professor of adolescent psychiatry and author of The Sex Lives of Teenagers and The Romance of Risk, and Nancy Brown, a developmental psychologist and education projects manager for Palo Alto Medical Foundation, both agree: Parents should set the stage for safe dating long before their child becomes a teen.She suggests parents sit down with their pre-teens to discuss the issue calmly, before it even comes up.This conversation will help you figure out if your child is ready.
Studies show that the earlier teens start dating and having relationships, the sooner sexual activity takes place.
To help ensure your teen has a positive dating experience, here are a few things to consider when preparing for your conversation.
Age matters Dating is different for a middle-school-aged teen versus an upperclassman in high school.
As parents, we all want our teens to have good early relationships, so we should discuss what constitutes a healthy relationship before they begin dating.
We can help them to expect good communication, respect, trust, fairness, honesty and equality.