Start Appropriate dating behavior

Appropriate dating behavior

But that doesn't mean kids aren't sexually active: Studies have found that some 50 percent of teenagers, ages 15 to 19, have engaged in oral sex.

Then waiting for him to come to the house to pick you up? "Even the concept of dating is outdated," says Beth-Marie Jelsma, a psychotherapist in Rochester, New York.

Remember sitting by the phone, waiting for a boy to call and ask for a date?

Kids also use their cell phones to spread the news about parties.

Beck demands that her daughter turn off her cell at on weeknights and at midnight on weekends (before this, calls were coming in as late as a.m.! If you're concerned about calls your kid is making, another strategy is to use shared minutes on family plans; that way, you can scrutinize the phone bills.

Kids still start pairing off around the same age (between 12 and 14, with more serious relationships usually reserved for the later teen years), and parents still worry about them experimenting with sex.

But these days, there's even more reason for concern.

And a reminder: Keep your computer in an open area, like an office or the kitchen, where it can be monitored by anyone coming in and out. Then the mother heard that the girl wanted to have sex with her son. "I told him I'd like to see him wait until he was at least 18," she says. And girls need to be taught how to be respectful of a boy's feelings.

One woman with three sons was astonished last summer when a girl took a liking to her 15-year-old and got aggressive. Teen pregnancy numbers are down, and so is the number of kids who are having intercourse.

"A lot of kids have this idea that it's no big deal." Kids who think this may be missing crucial messages about sexually transmitted diseases and self-esteem.

Talk to your kids about the seriousness of any sexual contact.

"Kids almost seem to be running the bases backward," says Marisa Nightingale, of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, referring to the new sexuality.