My 13 year old daughter has begun to ask when she can date. I don’t think she has been asked yet but I think she is hopeful. What kinds of limits should I set? Should I check out the boy to see if he is OK for her to date? I worry about her getting into trouble sexually and maybe getting into the wrong crowd and trying drugs.
At thirteen your daughter will probably be interested in boys around her age who won’t be able to drive yet so you or the boys parents will have to chauffeur them around. This will give you an opportunity to meet the boy and his parents. You will have some control over how late they stay out and be able to check out where they are going. If she has some experience with these kinds of outings with good results then you can gauge whether she is trustworthy.
As she gets older you will have less control. You can insist that her dates pick her up at your house so that you can meet them and set a curfew. If she’s been trustworthy up until this point then you will have some confidence that this will continue.
If you’ve talked to her about the dangers of unprotected sex and how much misery drug and alcohol addiction can bring, you’ve done what you can to protect her. She is growing up and will want to make her own decisions. It’s going to difficult for you to let go because you want to protect her but she will rebel if you try to restrict her too much.
This is a difficult time for parents when they have to let their children make their own decisions. If you’ve let her know your values and how you expect her to behave, you’ve done what you can.