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Youth Group Discussion: Answering Kids’ Questions on Dating

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Questions on dating spark important conversations. So use the information below for youth group discussion and debate. Then share the insights with parents to help them navigate the world of teen dating.

Dating starts at different ages for different kids. Suddenly bodies change and hormones take over. Then teens want the label of “boyfriend” or “girlfriend.” They’ve noticed they have feelings for a boy or girl and want to do something to express these emotions.

The trouble is that parents don’t really know how to approach this topic. Every form of media makes dating seem casual and fun, often ending in sex. But as Christians, we know that isn’t what we want to teach.

So we turn to other parents for direction. But none of us are on the same page with ages or approaches. Frequently, all we walk away with is, “Well, I don’t want to do that!” Finally, we look to our own dating experiences. If you’re like me, those teen dating years weren’t amazing. Again, you think, “Not going to direct them to that!”

Frequently this leaves us setting an ambiguous dating age out into the future. Then when it arrives, we still aren’t ready! Truthfully (and I have no idea why) I’ve been fine with the concept of my girls dating. But when my son wanted to date, I went into full panic.

So what do we do about teens and dating? Asking questions on dating helps us (and our kids) through this territory.

Not sure how to make dating rules for your teen? Then check out these 3 questions on dating. They make an excellent youth group discussion or small-group topic. (And please share these questions on dating with parents at your church!)

Youth Group Discussion: Questions on Dating

1. What’s Your Definition of “Dating”?

When our tween says, “So-and-so asked me out,” we wonder what that means. They can’t drive, so “going out” obviously isn’t literal. We’re relieved when they tell us they’re going to sit together at lunch and text sometimes. But before we know it, they start calling that person “boyfriend” or “girlfriend,” and we aren’t ready for that.

Dating lingo can be confusing. So it’s important to clarify what you mean by “dating” and get specific with your answer. For instance:

  • How much time can they spend with this person in a group?
  • When will we let them be alone with this person?
  • How much time can they talk or text?

Spell it out for yourself. Then make your definition of dating clear to your kids. And if possible, don’t wait until they turn 16. They’re likely to ask way before that.

2. How Are You Handling the Labels?

As our children begin dating, it’s vital that they don’t find their identity in a relationship. They may want the label “boyfriend” or “girlfriend,” but it’s okay to challenge them on why it’s so important.