So. Your daughter is dating. Now what? Every parents nightmare. Despite knowing what it was like when you were their age, and that dating is a normal rite of passage, you fret and worry. It’s a normal instinct. Your child, who was once just a tiny baby, is now old enough to be forming these intense relationships with other people. You want to pull them in close and protect them from everything. We all know that we can’t protect them from everything forever. The best that you can do is try to prepare them, and remain a loving and supportive parent.

Have open communication

 

You would hope that, in the event that something goes wrong in a relationship, that your daughter would be comfortable enough to come and talk to you about it. Talk to your daughter about her feelings and how her dates went. Don’t press her for details that she doesn’t want to tell you, and make sure that she knows that. The relationship that you and your partner have should be an example of a good relationship, so she knows what to expect in a relationship. This way, if she is being treated in a way that you and your partner would not treat each other, she will know that it isn’t worth her time, and move on.

 

Talk to her about sex

 

A lot of parents avoid talking about sex altogether. It is naive to assume that she will never have sex. Maybe she will wait until she’s married, but that’s a decision she’ll make for herself, and isn’t something that you can force on her. Instead, you need to talk to her about sex. Teach her how to be safe, so she knows what to expect. Make sure you also tell her that it is okay to say no to sex. No matter how much she likes the person she is dating, tell her it’s okay to respect her own boundaries and she shouldn’t do anything she isn’t ready to do out of a feeling of obligation.

 

Teach her how to be safe

 

Navigating relationships is difficult. You can’t control her relationships, so teach her what precautions to take to try to eliminate the possibility that she could be put in a bad or uncomfortable situation. Let her know that you are her ally, and you are there for her.