Surprisingly, research has shown that too much control over teens can actually increase the likelihood of sexual behavior instead of lowering it.Coyne suggests parents be open with their teens and explain the physical, spiritual, and emotional benefits of waiting until after marriage for sexual intimacy; this understanding of the principles behind the Church's standards can be very beneficial.New Independence Parents who struggle when a child suddenly abandons them for a new-found love will benefit from understanding the psychological aspects of dating. Dowdy and Wendy Kliewer found that teens who start dating find themselves in a completely new role, different from those of student, child, or friend.This isn't necessarily bad, but it is difficult for parents to accept because they still see the adolescent as a child.How should parents react to this newfound independence? "In general, you want to be supportive of your child and respectful of their wishes." One of the best things that parents can do to support their child is to make a sincere attempt to meet and form a relationship with their teen's boyfriend or girlfriend. Make sure he or she knows that discussing the relationship is important.If you invite them to family functions, you will be able to see how they interact and keep an eye on the relationship to make sure it's a healthy one. Ask your teen what qualities he or she especially likes about their dating partner, what makes that person special, and what they enjoy doing together. Finally, ask your child, "What are some rules you have set for yourself?
Additionally, Coyne says parents should facilitate activities with other friends.
In fact, all parents should do this whether their teens are contemplating a sexual relationship or not.
Make sure that your teen is fully aware of the values and beliefs of the Church, along with your own feelings about them.
Unless you think the relationship is unhealthy, try counsel rather than force.
Dealing with the Breakup Typical high school relationships last from four to six months, so parents need to be prepared for the end of the relationship--and the end of the world, as your teen might perceive it.