Apart from the worries of most parents in the processes involved in parenting, the next daunting challenge we may likely face is our expectations on how to teach them techniques in handling opposite sex. This is a huge task I must say. Because being a parent is commiting to guide your children through the ever growing complicated amd difficult stages of life.
So I get to hear this question often everytime and everywhere I go “When can my child start dating”? “What must I do when I discover my child is having a relationship”? Now the answer to these questions and more are not so difficult provide if the real need for asking them is clear to the parents.
What we must first know as a matter of urgency is the reason behind our question. Are we asking out of fear? Or out of desire to guide. Some of us parents ask out of fear and regardless of the submission of the expert, the preset mindset will form the bases with which expert opinion will sit and at the end of it all, such intervention become irrelevant. So i really want to admonish us to replace our fear with wisdom.
Though it may not be a one fit all approach in determining a particular age for any child to begin a relationship simply because the developmental growth in children vary, but for clarity sake, I’d pick an average age of 13 has most appropriate bearing in mind of the needed mind empowerment by the parents concerned to children. It is not uncommon to see boys and girls in this age group having crush on themselves. This is expected of them because they are at a stage where their sexual hormones are fully developed amd as such hitching for attention. This is not the period to beging to fret but to offer them proper support.
Pretty much, preteen and teen years are not always easy on the child. Their hormones fly, and one as parent is expected to deal with ones fair share of conflict.
So when it comes to relationship, how can one prepare ones children on how to deal with this developmental growth.
The first advice I’d give parents is to start early by grooming their children both boys and girls with life skills to handle same sex and opposite sex friendship. Life skills are the core skill for kids to grow with. Life skills are skills everybody and every child learns in measures. So much parents would say they comply with this but the question is not whether they do or not but how well. This will help them in no small measure in how they manage friendship. This they caught from what we have demonstrated to them how friendship works through the way we behave with our own friends.
Encouraging children to have friends with both opposite and same sex is a strong catalyst to building a healthy relationship with their environments through social and emotional interactions they will all share together.
Fathers can also have a day out with thier daughters. One of the benefits of this is to boost the confidence and the self worth of the daughters. Girls are generally delighted in this type of outing . To them it is an experience first introduced by the Dad and not a male friend. Play with them. Speak to them.And pay attention as they learn how to effectively deal with the advances from opposite sex through your meaningful engagement
Sex education is most paramount. Parents must be well equipped to handle this. Question as to who among the parents for this task is somehow unnecessary, it all depends on who the girl is cool with. But the key points we must never forget when engaging kids is to lace it with age appropriate sex talk in a way they will understand without being unintentionally setting them up for early sex exploration. You’d even be shocked youmger kids are more interested in pregnancy and babies, ratjer than act of sex. Get to know what they really want and this must be done gradually, not everything at once.