Trends in dating patterns and adolescent development

Significant dating most commonly begins in late adolescence, ages 15 - 18, during the high school years.By "significant" I mean when young people want to experience a continuing relationship that involves more interest and caring than the casual socializing or friendship they have known before." -- The Honesty question: "Do you both trust each other to tell the truth?"-- The Independence question: "Do you both support each other having separate time apart?Parents can declare: no matter how much attraction and enjoyment there is, if how young people treat each other lacks respect for one or both of them, then what they have is not a good relationship. As I describe in my book about adolescence, "The Connected Father," parents can suggest four basic treatment questions to which their son or daughter needs to ask and answer "yes" to affirm that the significant dating relationship is good, or at least good enough.

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It is your job, however, to provide your son or daughter with the important questions to ask.

" For example, "Do I give my needs and wants as much importance as the other person's in the relationship?

"Second: "Do I like how I treat the other person in the relationship?

"-- The Attention question: "Do you both feel listened to when expressing a concern?

" -- The Respect question: "Do you both observe comfort and safety limits that each other sets?

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