If there’s a breakup, ask them what they learned.” It’s easier to teach kids who have experience, she says, because kids don’t always learn from peers’ mistakes.
Dating, unfortunately, is not always a positive experience.
“The most important thing is that your boyfriend is not ashamed to show you off,” she says.
“That’s a real relationship — where he says, ‘I appreciate you and I care about you.’ Both sides should be proud of each other.” Parents can use dating as a teaching tool.
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Being in a committed relationship can be safer than being a part of a crowd prone to hooking up.
Brooke is careful to separate sex-based relationships from love-based dating.
She says the teen years provide the best time to be open with your child — when family members and adults are nearby and able to identify warning signs.
Self-confidence can provide excellent protection against abuse, says Reana Johnson, a UNC-Chapel Hill sophomore and president of the university’s chapter of “Queen in You,” a mentoring program for middle school girls that helps them discover who they are instead of seeing themselves through the eyes of potential boyfriends.