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“Of course it will probably be uncomfortable for both of you,” Anthony says.
“But if he’s so uncomfortable that he gets angry or shuts down or otherwise just can’t continue the conversation, that’s a big sign that he’s not ready for this.” If so, assure your child that there’s no hurry to start dating.
"Parents can be so uncomfortable with the idea of their kid becoming more grown up -- we wish our kids could stay kids," Atkins says.
"The problem with that attitude is that your kid still is a kid.
And he or she needs your guidance and support right now." You don’t want them learning the rules of dating from peers or the media, without your input.
The more you talk to your kids about what it means to be in a healthy relationship, the more likely they are to experience that, whenever they start dating.
Michelle Anthony, Ph D, a developmental psychologist and learning therapist in Denver, suggests an opening line like: “It sounds like a lot of kids are talking about dating now. ” If you can't tell what dating means to your kid, try discussing dating as shown on TV shows or in movies that are age-appropriate.But then, use the rest of the space to talk about nothing but you.This is the one area of your life that isn't about what your child wants, but about what you want." For example, tell potential suitors what books you like to read (this is an Elmo-free zone), latest movie you saw (Don't you dare say Toy Story), what food you like to cook (chicken nuggets don't count even if you prepare them every, single day!Right or that you have to sneak around like a high schooler."Just wait until it really seems as if the relationship is serious and stable.
"It is important to not introduce your kids to every person you go on two or three dates with. When kids are introduced to someone 'special,' they assume it actually means something and then if the person disappears, this shifts their whole belief system," says Ledley.