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When Your Kids Start Dating

Mar 11, 2008
When you first see your child go on a date then it easy to feel sorry for them, remembering how nervous they must be and how little experience they have, how confused they will get as they learn. As parents then we get almost as nervous as them! We worry about how it will go, if they will mess it up, if they will have a great time and then spend less time at home. You need to sit them down though and take them through the basics, as they will start dating whether we like it not so we need to get over our fears sometime.

I am sure that your son would love to do the whole date alone, and you should give him the impression he is, but at some point he is going to need to ask for help. Unless he has bags of money for a taxi or wants to 'impress' his date by taking the bus, then he is going to have to come to you for a lift, take the pressure out of it by asking him first if he wants a lift rather than him having to ask you.

You don't want your young guy to go on the first date and either be too pushy or expect too much. Kids need to learn that things take time and the best piece of advice you can give him is that he should just have fun and show his date his true self. Let him know that if he can just make a good impression now then the next dates will be a lot more relaxed and he can work for that first kiss then.

Group outings are terrific starter dates for young daters. Not only do they work well because someone probably has an event that everyone can do but both of the kids feel safer with mutual friends. But both of the novice daters should keep in mind that on the date, he is there with her and she is there with him. It is very easy for both kids to wander off with their friend group and the entire atmosphere of a "date" can disappear pretty quickly.

Of course the idea of a group date may not appeal to him as he may be afraid that other kids will try and talk to his date and steal her away from him. There are simple solutions to this, give her a present at the start of a date, like a flower for her hair or something else people will see. Not only will this endear her to him for the present, but it marks her as his date so that all the other kids know and stay away.

Maybe he still wants to go with just her, well to relieve some of the pressure he can try different activities that will take away some of the need to find things to say. If he takes her for a bite to eat and then a movie he will be doing something together and giving them both something to talk about and do together, but without having the whole date filled with them trying to talk about stuff. Or maybe bowling, this gives them both something to focus on and a bit of competition as well which is a great way to break the ice.

It may be better for the young novice daters to learn the ups and downs of being together before they take on going out to dinner and the more advanced subjects of the sport of dating. If they go somewhere that there is food like a food court at the theater or mall, he can be a big man and buy her dinner without having to deal with restaurant etiquette.

At the end of the date, expectations should be kept minimal. The young man should know that a kiss may not be proper with a first date situation. He should be encouraged to walk her to the door and do all the polite things but it would be entirely understandable if her mom or dad came out to greet the kids so a nice handshake or hug good night is plenty. But if she leans in to kiss his cheek, he should be well coached to hang that cheek out there and accept that kiss.

If the young couple feels like they got to go out together, that it was an event where they were definitely "a couple" and if each got to do some datelike thing on that outing, that is plenty of romance for the first time out.
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If you are looking for romantic date ideas then have a look at this video first.
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