Get to know them first.,
Resist the temptation to grill the date.,
Look for positives.
As the old saying goes, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” If you decide you don’t like your teen’s date shortly after introductions, your opinion could be misguided. Don’t jump to conclusions by judging their date prematurely. Instead take the time to actually get to know who they are dating.
Then, you can decide if the date is a positive partner for your teen. Plus, trying to get to know them shows your teen that you are making an effort.
Invite your teen’s new date over for a family game night or intimate barbecue. Make a point to assess their interactions with your teen and the rest of the family.However, keep in mind that one interaction is not enough to get a good idea of who the person is. It may take several interactions before you have a good sense of their character.
, As an adult, you still want to be a positive role model. Even though you may not like your teen’s date, act appropriately by treating the person with kindness and respect. Keep in mind that how you treat the person reflects on your child and your family as whole. Greet them and ask about their well-being when you are in their presence.
Furthermore, some teens choose unsavory dates to push their parent’s buttons. If you are civil with the date and refuse to act inappropriately, this may diminish the power of any acting out behaviors.
, It’s perfectly fine to get to know your teen’s date on a personal level, but draw the line at full-on grilling. Plus, your child will be humiliated if you initiate an interrogation of their date.
If you intimidate the date or your teen, they are more likely to keep their relationship on the down-low in the future, which is something you don’t want to happen.
Stick to the basics like “Who are your parents?” or “Where are you from?” You can gradually get more information about a new date during future visits.
, Despite your instincts signaling that this person is a bad choice for your teen, try to get some perspective. Your initial instinct could be wrong, and you could be harshly judging a decent person.
Take a step back and try to see from your teen’s point of view. What is it that you think they like about this person? Do they have any redeeming qualities?You might even discuss this with your child by saying something like, “You know I can see what you like about Jessica. She has a great sense of humor.”