I think many of us can relate to Deanna, mom of three girls (one a teen), when she says, “Dating? Not my babies!” My own first date happened when I was 16-and-a-half, and my parents were hard-core: if I missed curfew by one minute, I was grounded for two weeks (I was grounded quite often). For me, 13 or 14 would have been too young for dating because boys still freaked me out then, and I had no siblings to learn from.
The world is a challenging place for teenagers these days, and taking that developmental journey from childhood to young adulthood is more stressful than ever. With the proliferation of social media, expectations for our teens to be popular have gone up. The risks of hurt from insults and exclusion and the fatigue from never being away from one’s online peer group can lead to all kinds of psychological and emotional problems - all of these factors, not surprisingly, are resulting in a rise of depression with our teenaged girls and boys.
There have been a lot of opinions published online lately regarding the dad who shot his teen daughter’s laptop. In many ways, neither dad nor daughter was respectful toward the other. Good parenting involves mutual respect in a loving relationship. Mutual respect is treating another human being as no less and no more than one would like to be treated.
While most dads would rather watch a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants marathon than talk to their teenage daughters about sex and relationships, Dr. Kenneth Ryan, father of three girls, never runs away from the talk. As a relationship expert, Dr. Ryan seeks to help parents have normal, comfortable conversations about these important life topics. No one feels the pain of a bad boyfriend more than the dad so start talking before she has a boyfriend - before her mind turns to mush.
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