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Unless you think the relationship is unhealthy, try counsel rather than force.

Dealing with the Breakup Typical high school relationships last from four to six months, so parents need to be prepared for the end of the relationship--and the end of the world, as your teen might perceive it.

A parent is usually most effective when working as a support and guide rather than a dictator.

Maintain the Parent-Teen Relationship Coyne stresses the importance of keeping the parent-teen relationship intact before, during, and after a romantic relationship.

If you choose your battles wisely, your children will be more likely to respect your concerns about their relationships.

Love and Balance Balance is difficult for teens who believe that they are "in love." Yes, they can still walk straight, but their lives tend to be a bit lopsided--weighing heavily toward their newfound relationship.

Keeping lines of communication open, trusting and respecting your teen, and showing moderate amounts of control will go much further in preventing sexual behavior than locking [teens] in their bedrooms," continues Coyne.This same study revealed that conflict between parents and adolescents greatly increases when teens start dating--simply because parents have a difficult time adjusting to the teen's new role and priorities outside the family boundaries.If parents accept that their child is progressing and developing a different role in life, they can avoid some of these conflicts. [Parents] shouldn't be afraid to make rules and discuss them with their teen." Set aside a time to talk with your child.It can be frustrating for parents to see their previously straight-A student suddenly get their first B, but "a little of that is natural, and you can't stop it completely," says Coyne.To get around the single-mindedness of your infatuated teen, encourage the boyfriend or girlfriend to spend time with the family, participating in scripture study, family home evening, and family activities."Try to understand and respect the intensity of your teen's feelings.At the end of the day, everyone has their own free will, but if you respect them and are aware of their feelings, they are far more likely to listen to you." Trusting your teen and trying to understand his or her feelings is all well and good, but what about when it comes to sexual intimacy? After all, children do have their own free will, but shouldn't parents do everything in their power to stop their children from making a monumental mistake?Your teen comes home from school one day, starry-eyed and completely distracted. Bouchey and Wyndal Furman concluded that "adolescents who are involved with a romantic partner at a young age have higher rates of alcohol and drug use, delinquency, and behavioral problems, as well as lower levels of academic achievement." In addition to these consequences, Sarah Coyne, a Brigham Young University professor who studies adolescents, says that teens who date before sixteen are generally less imaginative and more often become victims of relationship abuse. How you wish you could return to the time when boys and girls yelled “Cooties! In an article entitled "Dating and Romantic Expericnes in Adolescence," psychologists Heather A.How should parents react to this newfound independence? "In general, you want to be supportive of your child and respectful of their wishes." One of the best things that parents can do to support their child is to make a sincere attempt to meet and form a relationship with their teen's boyfriend or girlfriend. Make sure he or she knows that discussing the relationship is important.If you invite them to family functions, you will be able to see how they interact and keep an eye on the relationship to make sure it's a healthy one. Ask your teen what qualities he or she especially likes about their dating partner, what makes that person special, and what they enjoy doing together. Finally, ask your child, "What are some rules you have set for yourself?


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