18 answers

How Do I Prepare My Teenage Girl for Dating

My 14 yer old girl will be starting High School in August. She really wants to start dating. I've so far told her no that she is just too young to be dating in Middle school. Many boys have asked her out, mostly boys that are 15 & 16. I think the attention has raised her self esteem, but I fear that even tho I've told her many time that some boys don't have honest attentions, she just doesn't get it. I've seen the boys stare at her chest as they talk to her. I just don't know what to do.
I have told her many times that she needs to start going out to hang out with her girlfriends. And a doctor friend of mine told me that he thinks that a girl should always make the first few dates a group date. I'm scared she'll get hurt bad.

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My personal experience was watching my friends date more along the lines of the junior high. They would ask if the person of their choice would be their boy/girlfriend then 2 weeks later they aren't anymore. No real going anywhere, no real dating. It all seemed silly, I never really dated.

I've always thought dating should be more old fashioned. Going on dates with different people getting to know different guys until she meets someone she wants to be exclusive with. Dating as a means to finding the perfect type of person you would want for a life partner. I think if you help her see it in that way it might make it seem more serious and might make her a little cautious in the guys she agrees to date. It might also help protect her heart.

At her age group dates is best and in home movie dates where you can peek in on her and her date from time to time, also public places for dates.

I would warn her to be careful around older boys, some are good but hormones get in the way and some are not so good. Older boys tend to be experienced and might expect certain things she may not be ready for. Another reason I never really dated and only paid attention to geek guys and guys who were younger then I.

A lot of kids take dating ques from their parents, since her father is a no show I think you talking to her about your dating experience and helping her to understand that she has the power to say yes and no, will be good. Help her learn from your past. Even full grown adults make bad choices. Help her understand that her body is hers and she needs to be in control. Dating can be dangerous and not just emotionally. Certain things can't be undone.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Boy it's gotta be hard to be a single mom. Especially with dad not around at all. At 14, I personally wouldn't let her date at all. Hanging out and doing things with a group I would be fine with but def. not one on one dating. My personal take on this one is that I really don't even want my girls (I have 3) "dating" until they're 18. I'm sort of a supporter of courtship. I mean, what's the point in dating around? People can get to know how another is by hanging around as a group too. I'm just saying that one on one dating is sort of pointless unless they intend to be taking it further and messing around. Which, in my opinion should be with the one you intend to marry. Or actually should I just say no messing around until you're married.

1 mom found this helpful

Well, there's no way to avoid her getting crushes on boys and it not be reciprocated (meaning the boy she's crushing on doesn't like her back). There's going to be hurt feelings with that, and there's really no way to avoid it.

However, the commercials are right. Kids do listen even though they may roll their eyes, tell you you're old-fashioned, and act as if they aren't giving you the time of day. Keep telling her that some boys don't always have the best of intentions. And it isn't okay to be pressured to do things she may not be comfortable doing, even if she hear's/thinks that "everybody's doing it". Let her know that more often than not, the stories are exaggerated and chances are what really happened is quite different from the story that's going around.

My mother would tell us to say, "I'm not that kind of girl." I always thought that was lame. What was wrong with, "I'm not ready to do that (or do that with you)...this is our first date (first, second, fourth, 89th) for crying out loud." If they pressure her or call her a prude, "I'd rather be considered a prude than a slut who ends up pregnant." Or even, "If that's all you want to do, then why don't you take me home?" If they're still persistant, "Oh, good, so you're ready to be a father. How many kids do you want to have and what do you think we should name them? Of course we'll have to get married and Tuesday nights will be girls night out so you'll have to stay home with the kids...If you want to go out with the guys on Thursdays, I suppose we can arrange that..." Nothing halts advances like the possibility of reality hitting home!

Further, teach her a few "self defense" techniques or have her take a self-defense class so she can defend herself if the situation demands it.

For what it's worth....and good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

First off I have to say I TOTALLY disagree with Lacey G's "lock her in the basement" response. Being strict and overprotective will either make your daughter rebel and do things much worse than you can even imagine, or she'll never grow up and she will still be living in your house 20 years from now because you never gave her a chance to think for herself and grow into an adult. I think what you've already done is awesome. I'm sure we can all remember what dating was like in high school. Awkward and immature. You seem to have a good relationship with your daughter. I think keeping communication open about this topic is crucial. You don't want her going to her friends with questions about guys at her age. You've already been there, done that and understand their intentions at ANY age haha. I wouldn't say don't let her date at all, but at 14 nothing is really serious. It's just a part of growing up and learning about yourself and others around you. Be candid about what may come up if she decides to date or go on a date (group or solo). Even on group dates, advances for kisses might come up. Make sure she understands that it's ok to say no to anything and it's even better to be honest. Telling a guy you don't want to kiss him because you're just not interested or don't like him isn't going to crush his heart. And, unfortunately, the same will happen to your daughter. It's just a part of life that EVERYBODY goes through. You can't protect her from her emotions, but you can teach and guide her through the process so she can learn how to cope. And now is a great time to start talking about sex. I was the last one of my friends to lose my virginity because I realized I wanted to wait until I was with someone I loved and trusted, and she needs to know it's ok to do the same thing. I think you're on the right path to prepare your daughter for dating. Good luck! Let us know how everything goes!

1 mom found this helpful

Here's where it's time to be the mean parent. You can pretty much guaruntee that as she gets older she's going to bend and break just about every rule you set down, so you're better off being as strict and overprotective as you need to be to feel comfortable, and just telling her that until she is legally an adult she's got to deal with it. The important thing for you though is to realize that no matter what rules you set, the only way to make sure they are followed it to investigate for yourself and not give her the rope to hang herself with.

1 mom found this helpful

i couldn't date till i was sixteen, and even then it was only group dating and no steady boyfriends allowed until college. it seems strict, but at her age i think hanging out with friends is more appropriate and fun anyway.

1 mom found this helpful

Let's get down to the real concern--you're concerned about sex. You don't want your daughter to be in the wrong place sexually. Our world is charged with messages everywhere condoning sexual activity and when you add hormones and a very pretty girl to the mix you can almost guarantee there is going to be experimentation. . .UNLESS you draw the line somewhere.

So, you as a mother need to decide EXACTLY what is okay and what is not in dating and relationships. Then, you need to CLEARLY communicate your expectations to your daughter. With continual support, love, open communication, time, etc. your daughter will have a greater chance of living up to your expectations.

My personal experience is that I was not allowed to date until I was 16, and even then not seriously. It was also very clearly taught to me at home and in church that sex was something sacred to be shared between a man and woman married to each other. I can say those expectations served me well. Was I perfect? No. But, I didn't have sex until after I was married. I personally know it has been good for me as a wife and a mother. And, even if someone doesn't agree with that line of thinking, it sure doesn't hurt! It makes life a LOT less complicated as far as relationships, pregnancy, dieseases, etc. go, so I believe in giving our children high standards and expectations, lots of love, and open communication for when they do fall short of our expectations.


Continue to encourage her to feel good about herself and that she can and should set boundaries. Group dates are good at age 15-16, I think 14 is too young, myself.

Make it clear that any young man she spends any time with has to go through you (phone conversation initially, then face to face). If there are any men in her life: uncles, friends, have them discuss dating with her.

Also, steer clear of pressing her to date one person, it is better to casually date several boys than to encourage her to get serious with one so soon. She will get hurt and embarassed but make sure she understands that those things are apart of growing up and her decisions and actions have a direct correlation to they way she gets treated.

I too am a single parent and have a 16 year old who has not gone on a one on one date yet. I screen phone calls and personally tell any young man who stops by that when he visits my home he is coming to see me and if I am comfortable I will allow him to see her. Her Dad is apart of her life but is of the mind that he'll hang any boy who touches her. I just use that to my advantage!

Hi, A..

I'm the mom of a 9th grade boy, and a pre-teen youth leader. Like you, I felt that group dates would be best to begin with. How can kids learn without being introduced slowly enough to take things into concideration? There are plenty of places kids can have first dates. School dances with teachers present. School games with me in the bleachers. Once my son was invited to go to the movies with two new acquaintances. I allowed it, but I went with his little brother. There are church youth gatherings; he's gone with s from school as well as invited them to his.

It's alright to give the kids time and opportunity to learn social skills, and having an or peers present gives them another reason to be responsible for their actions.

A agree with group dating. THere are also books out there that talk about dating and staying pure until marriage if that is the road you have had her on. Is there a grandpa in her life that could take her on a practice date so she knows what is appropriate behavior? Dana Gresch has some good books out there (spelling may be off). I made my daughter read them when she was 12 years old and she is now 14 and just going into high school. We have told her no dating until 16. My son who is 16 has had girlfriends but has not been alone with them. He "dated" in groups. And just now he has started going on "more like dates". But a lot of time it is still groups or he goes over her house and there is an adult there or vice versa. Next year when my daughter is in the high school who knows if she'll want to date especially when she sees all the new stuff there. I am sure we will not let her go on any solo dates but we will encourage if it comes up group dating with no pairing off. Good luck to you. It is hard being a single parent and always being the bad guy.

A. B--it's rough. i was a single Mom since my daughter was 2yo.I set down rules about growing up when she was young, and stuck to them--not always easy.No lipstick till 13-wasn't interested yet! No dates till 16, at 15 let her go to homecoming-guy didn't drive yet. She never was showy with her body in dressing -still isn/t,till has a perfect build at 43!! All I can do is wish you well and stay strong. Ask God for help and let Him guide you both. i think the worst part was seeing her go with a young man in a car date!!!(out of your control) One last thing she promised me not to have sex until after she was 18 and graduated.Email if you want to hear more or just get support.

I can tell you from experience that if you tell her she CAN'T she will find a way. So, start with group dates for a while. Movies, bowling, dinner, etc...with at least another friend and date. My parents told me I couldn't date a senior when I was a freshmen and I would just go out with a friend and meet up with the guy there. I think it's much better to know where she's going and with whom than trying to keep her from doing it and running the risk of he saying she'll be at the movies and having her go to his house.
Oh, and make sure you have her invite him over. You want to be involved as much as possible. Especially once she is dating alone, he should pick her up at the house so you can meet him and tell him what's expected of curfew and such.
Good Luck:)

Well, I've not read anything else, but I agree with your doctor friend. I wasn't allowed to date till I as 16 and I grew up in a small town where everyone knew everyone. I think that was good. I could go out and be with friends, but not date per say. My kids couldn't go out on dates by themselves until they were 16. I think she is to young to understand what scary things can happen and until you feel comfortable, well, somewhat, because you aren't ever comfortable, then you should make it group outings. I think young people are thrown into being adults too soon today and I feel that even though that is what they think they are ready for, they are not.
Just keep her friend close to you and home, get to know the other parents, and make sure you TALK to her and her friends. You staying involved is the key to keeping her talking to you as well as her friends. Make sure she understands that you will keep up with her, so she can't make plans and then be somewhere else. And you need to make sure you do keep up with her so she isn't supposed to be spending the night with a girlfriend and she's not. You'll both do just fine with communication and some rules that are consistent.

A., I have 3 kids, girl 17, boy 16 and girl 13. The oldest started having boys interested in her at the end of 7th grade, no dates allowed but he was welcome to our home to play on the gaming system when we were home. It was in the dining room so no priacy and the younger two were always in and out. He was a boy we know from church but he didn't tell his parents about liking our daughter, he just would say he was going for a run! I liked it better knowing what was really going on. That only lasted a few months and our daughter decided having a boyfriend wasn't all that it was cracked up to be and so she dumped him. Next boy (another from church) came along after going to church camp. This was during her 8th grade year and they did nothing except go to church events together. They didn't go to the same school so that helped. They stayed together for quite a while, till after Christmas of her freshman year, but still the only time they went anywhere was to Semi-formal for school in 9th grade. They did go to the same high school and had one class together. It was there she saw just how immature he was and not a very good time manager. She decided he wasn't what she was looking for and she was done. During this time, she went to many places and did things with the girls, she and I talked ALL THE TIME, about what was important to her. For her birthday that year we purchased her a purity ring. She wears it ALWAYS! Spent about 18 months with no boyfriend and then suddenly she became interested in someone she has know since elementary school. They have been dating for the last 19 months, since she turned 16. He is respectful of her and I couldn't pick her someone better if I tried. One day his mom saw her ring and asked me if that was what she thought and I told her yes. Both of them have decided to wait until they are married whether it be to each other or not. I think the key part is communication. I believe you need to let them grow but be close by, dates to my living room are always my favorite. Now the son has a girlfriend and they do the same dates either our house or hers with parents right there. There is no going upstairs for any reason. Our youngest goes to an all girls school so my husband is sighing with relief.
Hope this helps!

I didn't date much in high school (none in middle for sure though I did have a 'boyfriend' - whatever that meant then!). I was not allowed to date until I was 16 and then only group dates until I left home. That was one of the BEST things my parents did. I had lots of friends that I hung out with in high school, but really I was too busy to date anyway. Is your daughter involved in sports or any kind of extra curricular activity? 14 is way too young. It looks like you were a young mother yourself, so she should listen to words of warning from you. At age 14, even 17, she is still a child. She certainly dosn't feel like it or look like it, but the brain is not fully developed until after 18. Of course she will not agree if you go with my route. I didn't either at that age, but if you can get her to see 15 years down the road (at least you can see that). Good luck. Remember that you can set limits- you are her mother.

I know that you don't want to think about this but your first thought should be BIRTHCONTROL!!! I am one of those mothers that will show up out of the blue and make sure that you are where you say you will be. I also check with parents that they are home when my daughter was at there house. No matter what you do if there is a will there is a way. I'm not trying to scare you but take the precausions. I didn't want to put my my 14 year old through that exam but she has been through so much more and now that she is 16 years old she has a one year old son. Its hard now a days. Good luck!!

My mother did a great job raising me but I wish she had had some real talks about dating with me. I was a skinny little thing with a D chest in high school and did OK but it would have been a lot easier if there had been some honest talks. Group dates are good, you being around is good, having the group at your house is good. Get to know all the kids she is around and you must meet each boy.

Make sure she gets lots of physical attention from the men in her life. There are studies that show girls who get hugs and affection("I love you's" from a father figure -Uncles and Grandfathers are JUST as effective) have sex later.

A great resource is:


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