Happy Healthy Dates

By Christy Lenahan - Macaroni Kid Content Contributor October 3, 2018

Regardless of where you stand politically, these past few weeks have brought

an important topic to the forefront of conversation. As the mother of two

testosterone ridden, adolescent boys and one future estrogen ridden, adolescent

female…I’m concerned. I’m concerned that we are not arming our children with the

tools they need to have happy, healthy dates and dating relationships. In a 2015

survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 12% of high

school females reported physical violence and 16% reported sexual violence from a

dating partner. Males were not excluded from this phenomenon and also reported

physical violence (7%) and sexual violence (5%) from a dating partner.

Ideally, I, like many of you, would like to chaperone every date my adolescent

has…but I know this is not reasonable. The compromise: an open discussion about

expectations and appropriate behavior as well as some strategical tips to ensure a

happy healthy date.

First, choose wisely – date someone you are familiar with, perhaps someone

you are already friends with, and definitely someone you trust. At this age there is

no reason to date anyone from the e-world; there are plenty of fish in the proverbial

sea. Always tell us (the parents) where you are, if you are going somewhere else,

and how long you will be there. Life happens and plans change, shoot a text and let

us know. And, always have your phone on your person just in case you need an easy

out. Talk about limits – your date will appreciate your honesty and it will relieve

any potential for untoward advances. Stay away from drugs and alcohol. They

make adults do stupid things, so why wouldn’t they make you do stupid things.

Bonus, if you’re sober and had an epic night, you will actually remember it. Finally,

enjoy being a teenager and don’t just hang out - go out! There are lots of things to

do…the new Rock & Bowl, a festival on any given weekend, a football game, etc.

Don’t be a bore, your date deserves more!