Today, children are dating at a young age. If your teenage son is interested in girls, it is best to start giving him some good dating advice so that he doesn’t learn how to treat a woman from the streets or his peers.
Here are some dating advice good fathers need to give their sons as they venture into the world of dating:
Teach your son to be a friend first. As he starts dating, he should be her friend long before he becomes her boyfriend. Even though his emotions will be intense and he will be ready to dive headlong into the deep end, tell him not to rush things. He needs to develop a friendship first. The high-intensity emotions of love may burn bright initially, but the flame of friendship in marriage lasts the duration.
Let your son know that his heart will break and he needs to embrace that feeling. Tell him that one or more of his relationships will end with his heart feeling like it’s been split in two. He will have more questions than answers, and more regret than jubilation. He should know that his broken heart won’t get put back together by running from it. He should cry the ugly tears no matter what anyone thinks about them, ask the painful questions, and just remember that his broken heart will heal with time.
Teach him to be fascinated with her, not just her looks. Physical looks are great, but they are fleeting. And if he finds the most beautiful girl in the world, he should be aware that there’s always someone prettier. As he starts dating, teach him to become fascinated with who she is, how she operates, what she cares about, and what her dreams are. They all matter more than her bra size or how many heads she turns at school.
Show her parents she’s in good hands. Let your son know that every girl you date is someone else’s daughter. They have spent years with her, while he has probably only known her for a few months. So he needs to earn their trust, too. He will do that by doing what he says he is going to do, being home on time, and treating her like their daughter, not just his girlfriend.
Teach your son how to develop other intimacies beyond the physical kind. He should know that the physical intimacy will want to take off like a rocket when he really clicks with someone. Of course there’s a time and a place for that. But he shouldn’t base the entirety of his relationship on it.
He needs to find ways to deepen the emotional, spiritual, intellectual bonds between them. He should do the hard work so that his relationship is standing on a firmer foundation than simply physical attraction.
Teach him to leave his girl better than when he found her. He shouldn’t trample girls along the way. He needs to treat them well, do the right things, and when it ends, hopefully he would have left them in a better place for knowing him.
Being a Mum
How to help your daughter have healthy body image
Some mothers say that raising a girl is hard, harder than raising boys. Girls bully each other. They don’t just punch each other; they slowly destroy each other’s self-esteem or reputation. Then there’s the sex stuff and the fear of them getting pregnant.
Then there is the complex issue of body image. Even though this issue is an emotional minefield, if mothers talk to girls early about these issues, they can set them up for a lifetime of a healthy relationship with their bodies.
Here are some ways to do that.
Don’t talk badly about your body
If you want your daughter to love her body then you, too, must love your own. So don’t talk badly about your body in front of your daughter. Don’t grab your stomach and say you are too fat. Don’t say you are on a diet all the time. Speak lovingly about your body in the presence of your daughter. You have to lead by example.
Make her start eating healthy at a young age
The best thing you can do is to get your children to like healthy, wholesome food from a young age. Don’t give into demands to order cheeseburgers and chicken fingers off the kids’ menu forever.
Kids’ menus should really just be for little kids, but by age eight or nine, transition your child onto the adult menu. Get creative with healthy foods at home, so your child’s palate adjusts to and even craves things like vegetables.
Make exercise about having fun
When it’s time to exercise with your children, don’t talk about burning calories or getting in shape. Talk about having fun. Make exercise a part of their daily activities, but find ways to make it exciting and interesting. Mix things up. Find new games for them. Take them on adventures to different fun places and beaches. Get them craving time outdoors and a little physical activity every day.
Focus on her other strengths
Praise your daughter regularly on her attributes that don’t pertain to her appearance. Tell her how smart she is. Tell her how funny she is. Tell her how creative she is. Rant and rave about her academic or artistic achievements in front of her. Let her know how much you admire her tenacity and resilience when it comes to achieving her academic and personal goals.
Expose her to great body role models
There are many wonderful body positive role models out there. There are plus size and curvy models that are challenging beauty stereotypes and speaking out about loving yourself for who you are. Expose your daughter to these role models, and not the super skinny, diet-addicted celebrities.
Give her better reading material
Keep your daughter away from magazines with headlines that state how a celebrity lost 100 pounds in months. That media barging makes her think from a young age that someone’s weight is newsworthy. It shouldn’t be. Expose her to better reading material. Give her books with strong female protagonists who have accomplished incredible feats—feats far more important than being a size zero.