SALT LAKE CITY, UT (Good Things Utah) – As a parent, it can get scary to see your kid make the jump from innocent crushes to actual relationships. Abbi Winslow is a life coach for teens, and she told us three tips to make dating conversations with your teens more comfortable as they get into their first relationships.  

The first tip is to be positive. How you react to what your teen says can determine how they share with you in the future. We can’t change their minds about dating or the people they like, so don’t make them feel shame about it. Stray away from teasing or condemning because it is important to build confidence and positivity around their dating lives.

The second tip is to use the world to your advantage. We live in an extremely over-sexualized world. Rather than ignoring that uncomfortable song lyric or an awkward movie scene, use it as a bridge to start a conversation. It doesn’t have to be a long, heavy talk, it can be short but effective. Use the opportunity to talk about their expectations and standards in similar situations.

The third and final tip is to validate their feelings. You can only talk about facts and statistics, but unless you listen to how your kids feel you won’t understand why they’re making the decisions they do. Being a teenager is hard! Often the emotional side of their brain outweighs the logical. It can really help to ask them how they feel about dating situations rather than how you feel.

Abbi has a booklet called Protecting Fragile Hearts for more tips when it comes to parents navigating teen dating. Get it for just $1 on her website with the code “GOODTHINGSUTAH” or find her on Instagram or YouTube.