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On the emotional side, your daughter is still your daughter, despite her adult behavior. “My main message was, ‘be your own person.’ Mostly they were uncomfortable talking about it.” Kaufman’s daughters are now in their early 20s.Sex and dating are still awkward subjects but the conversation continues.“This is when daughters need their mothers most,” says Kantor. It’s important for her to know you’re still there for her, no matter what.You still have a role in protecting your daughter’s physical and emotional health. If not, bring her to a doctor who can talk with her about protecting herself from unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease. A Lifelong Conversation Even though her mother never had The Talk with her, Kaufman felt it was her obligation to talk with her daughters about sex, dating, and peer pressure.“Most kids want to please their parents,” says Ilana Amrani-Cohen, LICSW, Ph D, director of the Families with Voices program at The Guidance Center in Cambridge, Mass.“If they see their parent getting upset, they’ll clam up.” While fear and anxiety can make some moms go overboard, it prevents others from saying enough.
But before you tell your daughter exactly what she can or can’t do, understand there’s only so much you can control.If you have mixed feelings about your past or current sex life, do your best to come to terms with that before you talk to your daughter.Your best intentions will fall flat if you come across as upset, afraid, or downright angry when you talk about sex.“An early love relationship can be a laboratory for how to be in a healthy relationship,” says Kantor. With a good dose of mutual respect and communication, they can learn about romance together.If Your Daughter is Sexually Active, Stay Involved A lot of parents make the mistake of walking away when they realize their daughter is having sex.