It’s getting close to that time. Your grandson or daughter is showing interest in the opposite sex and you’re seeing less of them. You know what’s ahead but do they? How can you broach the subject of dating?
First, any important discussion is best had between two with an already existing relationship. If we haven’t been close to our budding grandchild, chances are they’ll give only a token listen.
Second, let the exchange happen naturally. Some of the best sharing times I’ve had with my teens were in the car on the way to school or work. If the two of you enjoy a certain room in your house or out on the patio, meet there.
Third, let him or her know you notice some changes and ask about their friends. If your grands regularly speak of their circle of “besties”, all the better. But this is the time to inquire about a special person in their lives.
Fourth, listen to whatever they want to say. It may be hard. I recall thinking if I heard of one more relationship based on video gaming, I was going to pop.
Leaving the best for last– tell them of your hopes and dreams for their future. And gently encourage them to play it safe on the dating scene. I ask my grands to stay in groups and enjoy friendships rather than to pair off and grow up too fast.
I tell each one that as a relationship becomes physical, sometimes the friendship ends. It becomes all about sex and nothing about getting to know about each other’s likes, dislikes, personalities, and things held in common. The things that make a relationship last. And I ask to be kept up to date on how it’s going. So far so good.
When They’re Head Over Heels in “Love”
At first, I wasn’t too fond of all the things a teenager could do on their smartphone. Until I realized it was a handy tool to glimpse into their world. Now, I ask to see photos, videos, and whatever interests them on the internet. Do I think they’re showing me everything? Of course not. But I’ll take what I can get to keep the lines of communication open.
When my oldest granddaughter was convinced of a certain boy at school, she brought him over for brownies. He seemed like a nice young man, but it didn’t last. When she was “sure” of the next one, she brought him too. Each time I meet one of her dates, I learn more about my granddaughter.
Do you have a teenage grandchild entering the dating world? What’s your best nugget of advice?