Pressure to “date” or “go with” someone begins early these days, so be sure to stay plugged in with your teenager’s friends and activities. Know who they like, who they don’t like, who they spend time with at school and after school. And get to know the families of your child’s friends.

Most tweens and a good number of high school students don’t date. Instead, they prefer group activities, which we recommend. It’s a good way to avoid the pressures of dating until your son is more mature.

When you believe that your son is old enough to date, be very open and honest about your hopes and fears regarding relationships. Discuss what you believe are acceptable boundaries for your son’s age. Get to know the person he is seeing. And know where they are going, and when they will be back.

Wait up to be sure your son makes it home after a date. Know his partner’s contact information. And talk about sex! If you are too embarrassed, bring your teen to Eugene Pediatric Associates, so we can help you get the conversation started.

Teen issues for boys

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Teen issues for boys: STIs and birth control

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are caused by infections that pass from one person to another during sexual contact. STIs are extremely common in the U.S., especially in sexually active people under the age of 30.