Dating today looks a lot different than it did even twenty years ago. Sure, most teens are making initial connections with others at school, but when you throw in social media and the literal “web” that is the internet, they can be making connections anywhere. To a parent and caregiver of a teen, that is a scary thought.
To balance the rite of passage that is dating with keeping teens safe, one thing you can encourage your teen to do as they begin to date is to date in groups. You might be surprised that they are already thinking about going this route because 10% of all teenagers between the age of 12 and 18 have been a victim of teen dating violence. Chances are someone in their peer group has been a victim.
Dating in groups can ease the pressure, for your teen and you. Here are some of the best reasons:
There can be less pressure to engage in risky behaviors.
If things get awkward with their “date,” they can still have fun with the rest of the group.
Your teen has a chance to get to know their “date” and how they interact with peers in a more social setting.
It can cut down the cost of the date.
A parent can insist on driving (especially if you have state laws that limit how many people can be in a car with a teen driver).
A gaggle of teens will stick out! They might be a little obnoxious but are less likely to engage in physical or sexual violence.
After a few group dates, your teen may be ready to go on a solo date. That’s a post for another time . . .
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