Does your teen daughter want to start dating? Is it freaking you out?

So your 14 -year -old daughter wants to start dating, and it's freaking you out. Well, let's
talk about it today on Tips on Teens. My name is Kent Toussaint. I'm a licensed marriage and family
therapist, and I specialize in helping kids, teens, and families live happier lives. I lead
two organizations, the group Private Practice Teen Therapy Center, and the nonprofit 501c3
organization, Child and Teen Counseling, both here in Woodland Hills, California. Every
Wednesday at noon, I come to you live on Facebook to answer your parenting questions, and this
one is a good one. I have a feeling my 14 -year -old daughter is going to want to start seeing this
guy who she's been talking to a lot on Zoom lately. He's someone she's been familiar with from
school for a while, but recently it seems like they developed a thing. I don't know this kid well,
and I'm really nervous about my little girl starting to date. We've always had pretty good communication,
But I want to make sure that she feels comfortable

talking to her mom and me about things Mostly, I'm worried that she's she'll get used or she won't
know how to draw the line with this guy Any advice about how I might be able to talk to her about
it or what I should say? Yeah, dude, I get you Us dads thinking about our little girls dating some
scruffy smelly teenage boy it freaks us out. And I think a lot of dads can relate to that. I'm sure
a lot of moms can, too. In the grand scheme of things, it's probably gonna be fine. But we kind
of get in this protective mode of our little girls. And the truth is, our little boys can be affected
in the same way. Can be used in the same way. So, why are we focusing so much on girls? It's probably
gender stereotypes that we've grown up in our society. But anyways, I don't focus on this situation.
Don't want to get lost in every situation. So let's talk about this girl. Again, boys can get
used and get their hearts broken just as much. So you have this 14 year old daughter who likes
this guy. He likes

her. Puppy love. You could try to step in and say, no you cannot date. You cannot date till you're
35. When I'm more comfortable with it and I'm senile, right? The more you try to stop her from
dating, the more you're gonna put this kid on a pedestal and you're gonna make him seem even greater
than he is. And in non -quarantine times, they would just see each other at school. Or she would
arrange to go see a friend at a friend's house, but really go see the boyfriend just behind your
back. So, better just keep this all out in the open and keep it safe, so if things do go astray,
she has a safe place to go. She is not, you know, if she has a crush and she wants to date someone,
she's probably mostly ready to be in that situation. And I say that because I ask, when do you
want her to have her first relationship experience. Is it college? Is it after college? Excuse
me, I have an eyelash in my eye. It's very inconvenient timing. But anyways, having these relationships
in high school helps

prepare her for deeper relationships in college and so on and so forth. So I think it's great
that she has you guys as an open place to talk and I would encourage you to continue that. But great
to talk to her about, you know, if she does start dating this boy, there's some things to talk
about. Like consent, first and foremost. What is consent? Consent can look a lot of different
ways, but ultimately it's having some kind of acknowledgement that, hey, this is okay. I'm
comfortable with this. So how does she express consent to this boy if they're kissing or making
out? I know, I know, that's freaking a lot of you dads out right now. I get it. But we have to talk
about this stuff. We really do. If you don't talk about it with your daughter, who is she gonna
talk to about it? Her other 14 year old friends? You know, TikTok. That's where she's gonna get
information from and better for her to get her information from you. And make sure that she has
a safe place to talk about what is consent.

So, if he wants to kiss her or she wants to kiss him, how do they figure that out? If it goes beyond
kissing, how do they talk about that? Where is too far? Now, you may have a too far and your daughter
may have a too far, right? Trying to get her to agree with your too far, she may pay lip service
to it, but she may not really mean it. So, it's important to be open to what her too far is. Again,
I know that's freaking you out, but then again, it leads to the conversation of, what is safe
sex? I'm not saying she's gonna have sex, but she might. Teenagers will do that from time to time,
no matter what you try to stop them. So, is she prepared for that if that happens? Let's say they
both give consent to each other to have sex. Do they have condoms? Do they understand what consent
is? Do they understand the safe place? Do they understand what all that is. Do they understand
that there's dignity and respect and compassion roped into all that? You know, it's important
to be talking about that.

Porn is not a very healthy place or a realistic place to get sexual information from. It's a very
idealized fictional version of sex. So if you don't talk to her about this, there's plenty of
other places she can go that you may not find that are very appealing to you. So make sure you're
having these conversations as much as they may freak you out. Statistically, I don't have the
numbers offhand right now, but kids who are forewarned and forearmed with knowledge and education
about sex and it's not a taboo subject, wait longer. They make healthier choices with sex. They're
better able to set boundaries with sex. So be very open and honest. Even though it's uncomfortable,
even though it makes you're giving you the willies in your tummy, talk to her. Make sure that
you can bring up these topics and you're breathing and you're calm. You can acknowledge that,
hey, this is a little uncomfortable for me too, but these are important things for you to know.
There are books out there to help kids

understand this stuff, but consent is big. You know, where are her boundaries? How does she
say, no, I don't want to do that? How does she ask if she can do something? How do they talk about
these things? This is really important and probably not just a one -time conversation. This
is a very elaborate conversation, but if she can have this conversation with you, she can have
it with this guy, right? And she She can make those choices. She can avoid being used or letting
a guy, you know, abuse her in some way. You know, and I say let, it's probably the wrong choice
of words, what I meant to say is, you know, going farther than she wants to go. Being convinced
to go someplace that she wasn't really ready for. Not talking about date rape. That's what,
not what I was referring to. So it's more to talk about these things. Another thing to talk about
is sexting. That's sending nude pictures to one another. And it's a really rampant thing in
our culture right now amongst teens and young adults.

It's illegal. It's child porn. If she sends a nude pic to him and he shares it with someone, he
is now guilty of trafficking child pornography. Or if he asks your daughter for a pic, that's
a child pornography. Or if she asks him, you know. These are all things that need to be talked
about and addressed because a lot of kids don't realize this because for them it's very commonplace.
It happens all the time. It's important you talk about these things. These are big conversations.
These are many conversations. And no matter what, I encourage you to let your daughter know
that no matter what happens, you're not going to be angry, you're not going to be upset, and you
love her, and you're going to be there for her no matter what she does, no matter how far she goes
with this boyfriend, no matter how much you don't like this boyfriend. Oh, that's another thing.
Make sure you get to know this boy. Make sure you get to know his parents. Even if you don't like
them, get to know them. It helps the

communication keep flowing. It helps if there's something going on that parent may reach out
to you and say hey, this is going on. I'm concerned about this You're gonna have to work with it
them on this You can't just hide you have to lean into it and embrace it and recognize what you
cannot control You cannot control your kids having sex or not having sex No one's never to do
that being able to do that that doesn't exist that control is an illusion if they want to have
sex they're gonna have sex. So, if that's gonna happen, make sure they are forewarned and forearmed
with education and information. Even if you don't believe in premarital sex, even if you don't
agree with teen sex, you don't have to agree with it. But it's important to acknowledge that
it is a reality and sometimes people get turned on and they're not thinking straight and they
kind of get lost in the moment. Most of us have had that kind of experience with a partner one time
or another. It can happen to your daughter even

at 14. I I know, it's hard to think about your 14 having sexual thoughts and feelings, but it's
also not uncommon for 14 -year -olds to have sexual thoughts and feelings. That's a normal part
of development. Not everyone has it, but a lot do. So be honest with yourself, be honest with
your spouse, be honest with your kid. If you need help talking through this, find someone to
help you through this who can talk about it, whether it's an educator, a therapist, a minister,
a rabbi, whoever that is. Don't just try to avoid it. The more you avoid this, the bigger the dangers
become. That is our big question. Thank you so much. We've already got a question for next week,
but we're looking for a question for two weeks from now. So if you have a question you'd like me
to answer, you can email us at tipsonteens at teentherapycenter .com. And last but not least,
November 11th, Wednesday night from 7 to 9, I will be leading a parent workshop on quarantine.
It's open to the first 10 parents. Our registration

link is a little hokey right now, but just email us and we'll get you going in that registration
process. Thanks again and I'll see you next week. Bye -bye guys.

It might make you feel icky to think about you’re kid having a sex life, but it’ really important to talk about with them. How do you teach them about consent? How do you show them they can come to you to talk about it? Here’s a parent’s question about this topic:

“I have a feeling my 14 year old daughter is going to want to start seeing this guy who she’s been talking to a lot on Zoom lately. He’s someone she’s been familiar with from school for a while, but recently it seems like they’ve developed a “thing.” I don’t know this kid well, and I’m really nervous about my little girl starting to date. We’ve always had pretty good communication, but I want to make sure that she feels comfortable talking to her mom and me about things. Mostly I’m worried that she’ll get used, or she won’t know how to draw the line with the guy. Any advice about how I might be able to talk to her about it or what I should say?”

Tips On Teens is a vlog that our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint, hosts every Wednesday at 12:00pm on Facebook Live.  He will be answering parenting questions submitted to us by you to our email at  Send us any questions you might have about parenting kids and teens and Kent will be answering them every week!

Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE!  Check out our page here –

If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.