Many fathers would like to sit on the front porch with a shot gun to meet their daughter’s date. When teens start dating it can be an uncertain time for parents. Pregnancy, date rape, and morality are all hot topics in the world of teen dating and all pose valid concerns. However, sometimes good communication is the key to keeping your children safe. Dating contracts act as a written agreement between teens and their parents. They specify that dating is a privilege and spell out appropriate and inappropriate dating activity.
Dating contracts eliminate any ambiguity about the rules. In general, they should cover important issues such as the age range in which the child is permitted to date. Both a maximum and minimum age should be specified. Ideally, parents should meet everyone that their child dates. This is especially important if you have a daughter and should be included as part of the dating contract. Additionally, curfews, appropriate activities, and the number of dates per week should be covered in detail. Concerns pertaining to morality and safety should also be addressed at the time that the contract is made.
Clearly stated consequences are an important part of the dating contract. If a teen goes out and breaks a rule, a disciplinary action should be predefined and stated for each offense. Plus, direct communication with your teen will alleviate much of the teenage drama, as your teen will know exactly what to expect. Although teen dating can be unnerving for parents, a dating contract should assist in tackling some tough issues.