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 daughter is more mature.

When you believe that your daughter 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 daughter’s age. Get to know the person she is seeing. And know where they are going, and when they will be back.

Wait up to be sure your daughter makes it home after a date. Know her 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 girls

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Don’t be an ostrich when it comes to sexting

As a pediatrician and a mom, I am deeply concerned and frustrated by a growing threat to our children. I’m talking about sexting—sending nude or sexual photos via text. It is up to us, as parents, to be proactive and do everything we can to prevent and stop it.