When boys and girls reach their teens, it is natural for them to become interested in the opposite sex. It is up to the parents of these children to help them from making mistakes in their early teens which could lead to heartache later on in life.
Parents are uncertain about the right age for a child to start dating. I do not think any youngsters should go out on dates alone until they are 21 years old, when they are mature enough to handle the situation.
Parents should encourage their children to have parties at home (as opposed to going out to night clubs). They should provide the food, music and make the youngsters feel welcome. However, they should not permit boys and girls under sixteen to pair off. Children need the security of feeling that someone is looking after them. In other words, adults should keep a friendly, supervisory eye on the party.
Curfew is one of the bones of contention between parents and children. What time must a boy or girl come in? And what can the parent do when the child complains that he or she is being treated like a baby? All youngsters under 21 should be in before midnight unless there is a special arrangement (children should not be allowed to sleep out without good reasons).
The parents should be firm about curfew once they and the child have agreed that it is fair. If a child knows his parents trust him to come in at a specific time, he will be anxious to live up to his responsibilities. This is critically important when the child is permitted to use the family car. If the parents do not know where he is taking the car and are not able to control when s/he will come back, they are just opening the door to trouble.
Parents are expected to keep their eyes wide open to be able to know what is going on with their youngsters and put control measures.
Hebrews 12:11 points out that no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.