Some people just seem to be good at flirting, they are natural flirts. The problem is that as a parent that is not something you are necessarily going to be thrilled with. Flirting in teenage dating is common and as long as it doesn’t get too extreme is just a way for your teen to communicate that they find another interesting and attractive. I know, not something you like the idea of but it will happen at some point so why not try to remain open and available so your teen can talk to you if they have any problems?
There are various techniques with flirting and when I was researching this article I found whole websites geared to showing teen girls and boys how to flirt effectively. Even though this will make more than one parent squirm, it’s not really all bad. Flirting is just another form of social interaction. The more comfortable your teen feels with this type of expression ( as long as it doesn’t get too out of control) the more confidant they will feel in general.
In my opinion one of the best ways to make sure you teen doesn’t get in any situation they aren’t ready for is to help them establish strong self esteem at an early age. It’s about more than what my son calls my “proud mom”. He says that whenever I give him a compliment and it seems like he quickly dismisses it, but I have a feeling he is pleased no matter how he acts.
I believe it’s also important to let your kids be who they are. Try to resist the urge of forcing them to be what you think they should be. It’s easy to do, you feel like you are doing the best for your child, but is it for them or for you? If you try too hard to make your round kid fit into a square hole all you are doing is sending a silent message that they are “wrong” in some way. That is not the best way to help them grow and have strong self esteem.
Instead, allow them every opportunity to excel at whatever they are good at. If they have aspirations of being a rock star and they want to use your garage to practice in, say yes and go out and buy some ear plugs! Don’t tell them that they will never make it or that they shouldn’t waste their time. That is the wrong approach. You should never take away someones dream even if it is a long shot. It’s as much about trying as it is about succeeding.
All of this is part and parcel of a healthy self esteem which can be one of the most important ‘life skill” anyone can have. When it comes to flirting in teenage dating try to not get too uncomfortable and allow your teen to learn and grow in this area too. It’s all part of what will make them a well rounded, confidant adult some day soon.