How to Teach Teens Dating Etiquette

When your teen becomes ready to step out into the world of dating, some situations may become problems unless she has learned dating etiquette. Because etiquette serves to help people get along in a variety of situations, it is important in the world of dating, especially for teens, who have little experience in this new realm.

Focus heavily on the concept of respect while teaching your teen the proper way to interact, counsels June Hines Moore, author of “Manners Made Easy for Teens.” Showing interest in conversation, paying attention to a date and relating in a friendly and relaxed manner will help teens connect positively 1.

Discuss manners and teach your teen that he should always use them -- punctuality, saying “please,” “thank you” and “excuse me,” honesty and keeping commitments and promises are critical pieces in a positive dating relationship, for both boys and girls.

Encourage your teen to embark on a dating relationship slowly and safely to avoid emotional turmoil and possible entanglements, suggests the Better Homes and Gardens website in an article, "Six Rules for Teen Dating." Consider instituting a dating guideline that prevents your teen from dating one-on-one until she turns 16, says psychologist Anita Gurian, who works with the New York University Child Study Center 23. With this premise in place, talk to your teen about staying within these boundaries as she explores her interest in dating so that anyone she becomes acquainted with realizes the parental limits that are in place.

Help your teen understand that it’s not rude or improper to end a dating relationship if she wants to end it. Encourage her to communicate openly and directly with the other person in such a situation. Let her know that if she has problems ending a dating relationship, she can always turn to you in any situation so that you can more clearly guide her in the specific situation.

Explore common lines and tactics used to apply pressure and gain influence by people in a dating relationship. A person might exert pressure for sexual activity by expressing deep love or by threatening a break up. Encourage your teen to stand up assertively to resist peer or sexual pressure. This may mean ending contact, which would be appropriate in such a situation.