Parents are dating

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If they’re not ready, encourage them to say, “I’m not interested.” &pagebreaking& Hold a Family Meeting When you think your child will be dating in a year or so, it’s time for another talk.

“Say, ‘I want us as a family to decide how we’re going to handle this,’” Brown says.

Brown says parents should be clear about their own views on sex.

For example, if you think it should be reserved for marriage, say so.

Others may be uncomfortable even mentioning birth control and STIs, but they should give their child contact information of another trusted adult, doctor or clinic where they can get the protection they need.

If parents want to reduce the likelihood that their teens are having sex, they should help arrange for them to stay busy with academics and after-school activities under adult supervision.

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“Plus, preteens can be more open to our suggestions.” Some preteens, especially those who go through puberty early, may begin to receive attention from the opposite sex, Brown says.

“‘Let’s think about it for a few days and meet on a Saturday to talk it through.’” Parents shouldn’t go into it thinking they’re going to lay down the law.

“Even the word ‘rules’ tends to lead to a struggle with teenagers,” says Ponton, who has two children and two step-children, now all in their 20s.

What can a parent do to make sure their dating teens are happy and safe?

We caught up with two local experts on teen relationships and sexuality and asked for their tips on setting guidelines for kids entering the dating game.

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