How many times have you heard someone say, “She’s such a flirt” or “He’s going to be a real ladies' man” about a baby?
Or tease a young child by saying, “Is he your boyfriend?
Dating anyone more than two years older is risky—there are so many developmental differences that it’s almost impossible to have a healthy relationship with that large an age gap.
” Apart from being age-inappropriate, comments like these give children ideas about dating and sexuality from a very young age.
So it’s no surprise that by the time they reach their teens, young people have a lot of messages to sort out about romantic relationships.
As parents, we all want our teens to have good early relationships, so we should discuss what constitutes a healthy relationship before they begin dating.
We can help them to expect good communication, respect, trust, fairness, honesty and equality.