Suggestions on how your teen should move into dating

Until recently, I thought that My daughter, nearly sixteen years old, and I have always maintained a close relationship with very strong communication skills.I have told her many times that nothing is off limits for conversation and that I will always give her the facts and my opinion whenever she has a question.We actually had two breakups—one that I initiated and one that she did (hers was final). I remember lots of crying on my part and wondering why this had to happen.I have never been someone to be overly dramatic (although my parents might tell you differently), but those breakups hurt.These phrases sound nice and inviting when they crop up on a psy­chology test covering the "developmental theories" chapter.But they don't always sound so positive and gentle when they're lived out in your family room or kitchen. The solution is to work with it as well as you can — by understanding what's yours to control and what isn't.Think back to when you fell in love for the very first time. For me, it was freshman year and her name was Carolina. We dated all through our freshman year and into 10th grade. I even danced with her a few times—I was known to cut a rug or two back in the day. I lived for those few moments spent in her presence. I played on the team and she danced with the pommers.

She thinks that we are mean and are trying to make her life miserable. Let them have their girlfriend or boyfriend over to the house while you are home. Get to know the other kid’s parents and what his/her home life is like. I have gone to the movies with my son’s girlfriend’s family, out to casual dinners, the amusement park.

All this trying can be very wearing on us as parents.

Your son or daughter also is connecting with his or her peer group, just as you probably did when you were that age.

At school, I counted the minutes until that bell rang so I could see her between classes.

Her mom even gave me a nick name—Lionel Joseph (from Trading Places).

Suggestions on how your teen should move into dating