Today was a wonderful day. You gave birth to a little girl and with thoughts of all the dreams she may have for her life, you are overcome with emotion. Many parents with great aspirations for their daughters feel this way which then turns to great fear. Parents fear their teenage daughters will misuse their own powers of pro-creation before they are married. How can I convince my daughter to wait until marriage to be intimate with the opposite sex?

This is a tough topic for parents to teach but there are some ways parents can encourage their daughters to wait.

1. Communication

: Teenage girls love to talk. As a parent, take advantage of this opportunity by talking with your daughter. It doesn't have to be a big deal lasting hours at a time. However, it should be consistent. Start at a young age (around 11 or 12) and teach correct principles of appropriate relationships with boys. Continue talking about this topic as your daughter grows older. Teach her about the importance of waiting until she is married to be intimate with her spouse. If your daughter is older, it's not too late. Tell her how much you love her. You want the best for her, so explain how you feel without attacking her personally. Challenge her to keep herself pure. Remind her how important she is, and how self-respect helps self-esteem. Communication is important.

2. Find Good Examples

: Many people know of someone who took the wrong road and has been living with her consequences. In my own family, there are examples of young women who have chosen to wait until marriage, and those who have not. Show your daughter the different levels of happiness and contentment in the lives of all these women. Who are the ones that are truly happy? Who are not because of their choices?

I asked my own daughter (who is the youngest of four daughters) how she was convinced to keep herself virtuous before marriage. She surprised me by saying it was the media. She watched movies which showed how boys would take advantage of girls; promising the world to them, then observed the consequences of their actions. From experiences in junior high school, she saw how boys treated other girls unkindly after the girls "gave in" to the boy's request. That was enough to convince her not to get inappropriately involved with a boy. You can find examples in movies which you can watch along with her. By visually seeing this in the stories of other girls you can teach your daughter to remember what is important.

3. Keep Consistent Dating Rules

: As your daughter grows older, dating boys will definitely be the topic of discussion. Stick to your guns as you help her to understand that 16 is the appropriate age to start dating. It is recommended that young people new to dating should start within a group setting. Pairing off as a single date should be strongly discouraged until the age of 18. Research shows that youth who start dating under the age of 16, especially one-on-one dating, are more likely to find themselves in compromising situations in which younger youth cannot handle. Not only are the temptations greater, but the maturity level for male-female relationships in dating situations are much better at an older age. In many polls, some from younger teens themselves, it was the common consent that dating under the age of 16 was pointless as the maturity level on both sides was not there. The ideal dating age was definitely 16 and older.

Family rules should be discussed for a set curfew. Parents should meet her date and make it clear what is expected of him. If you have been talking all along from age 11, these experiences won't be too painful. Trust will be established as your daughter begins dating. Setting standards now enables teens to learn appropriate behavior which will help later on as a young adult.

This time of sociability and dating should be a happy and exciting one. Taught with good morals and principles and shown good examples, young women of our families will learn to appreciate the time to wait until they find their beloved spouse and a true happiness will be enjoyed.

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