Thank you to all who have submitted questions to parenting expert Michele Borba! Michele is a globally-recognized educational psychologist and parenting expert whose aim is to strengthen children’s empathy and resilience.
Michele is also an NBC contributor, a regular guest on the Today Show and has appeared on other shows, such as Dateline, Anderson Cooper 360, The Dr. Phil Show, Dr. Oz, The View, NBC Nightly News and The Early Show.
Here is a teen dating question from one of our readers, and Michele’s response:
I am an only parent (father) with a 15-year-old daughter who has recently started dating boys. I feel that she is still a young kid and may not be ready for this. I want to speak with her about the pros/cons especially the cons—of young teenage boys! As an only father, my daughter can be a tough person to communicate with, without rebelling against me. How do I find a common ground to get through to her and ensure she is safe?
One of the best deterrents to early sexual activity appears to be the state of your relationship with your child. About 20 percent of both boys and girls whose parents reported a poor relationship with them during those preteen years had sex by 15, almost double the number of kids who had good parental relationships—especially strong relationships with dads! So stay closely connected with your daughter especially during those teen years when kids will naturally start to pull away and seek the advice of their peers.
It’s the time when they need you most. Studies do show that “kids who feel they can talk with their parents about sex—because their moms and dads speak openly and listen carefully to them—are less likely to engage in high-risk behaviors.”
More of Michele’s parenting insights.