Parenting tips on handling teen dating

At least that’s what teens said in a recent story about online romance in the student newspaper at my daughters’ suburban Maryland high school.

According to that story, “students initiate relationships online to meet new people, avoid stressful in-person meetings and hide their dating lives from their parents.” That’s certainly the case for some kids, according to my 17-year-old.

Quit that extra job on the weekends or in the evenings and instead drive the kids to the mosque for Halaqas and activities instead.

Or consider switching shifts at work so that you're home when the kids are. Whether it's in the car during a traffic jam, early morning after Fajr, or right before you go to bed, read the Quran with a translation and/or Tafseer. You will, Insha Allah, reconnect with Allah, and in the long run, develop into a role model helping your whole family, not just your teen, reconnect with Him too.

Many parents struggle with knowing what limits to set with how much time they should allow their child to spend with their boyfriend/girlfriend and what they can do if they think their child is in a relationship that’s too serious. Dating at this age meant eating lunch together at school, going to the community dances, and posting on Facebook that you’re “in a relationship.” He and his “girlfriend” would buy each other red carnations during the Valentine’s Day fundraiser at school. Still, by the time he was 15, his relationships were lasting longer and he seemed to be getting more serious. He started to buy “serious” gifts, like roses and heart–shaped lockets.

He started asking me to take him to the mall so he could buy a one month anniversary gift.

That first cell phone needs to come with written rules and responsibilities in the form of a signed contract, so your child learns how to handle it responsibly.

If you ask your kids what they think the rules should be, and negotiate until you’re happy, they will “own” those rules.

Besides, “forbidding” a child from doing anything often doesn’t result in compliance; more often results in secretive, rebellious behavior.As with parenting toddlers, parents who don’t accept and constructively negotiate their child's blossoming independence invite rebellion, or even worse, deception.The biggest danger for tweens is losing the connection to parents while struggling to find their place and connect in their peer world.What does it take for parents to get a teen to become a practicing Muslim?Sound Vision has talked to parents, Imams, activists and Muslims who have grown up in the West to ask what are some practical things parents can do to help Muslim teens maintain their Deen.