Lifestyle

Use your internet dating fears to bond with your daughter

Q: I'm worried about my daughter - she's 22 and spends all her time internet dating, on dating apps and getting messages from strange men. Is it safe or am I being old fashioned? How can I get her to be careful about who she lets into her life?

A: Even though your daughter is grown up (more or less), you are still her parent, and as such your instinct is always going to be to protect her.

Some parents aren't comfortable being involved in their children's dating lives at all, while others are on the other end of the spectrum and are highly involved.

Wherever you stand as a parent, on the issue of safety it's always best to express your concern.

Yes, internet dating, and dating smartphone apps are exceedingly popular with all age groups, particularly younger men and women, but popularity and common usage doesn't equal safety.

You can tell your daughter that your concern isn't a reflection of your generation's experience of dating, or being "old fashioned" but is common sense.

There are smart and not smart ways to use technology to meet people.

And it all has to do with privacy, control and access to personal information.

Rather than lecture your daughter though, you can use this opportunity to grow closer, and have her show you more of her world and how she thinks for herself.

Tell her you're concerned about safety, and you'd like to learn more so you don't spend so much energy worrying, if there's potentially not too much to worry about.

Ask her to show you how the dating sites and apps work - how a profile is set up, privacy settings, and how members communicate with each other without being able to locate personal information unless that is directly shared.

Then comes the natural next step in the conversation about safety: at what point is she sharing her contact details with men?

What safety measures does she use when she meet a date for the first time?

Does she let you or her friends know where she is?

Does she date in public group places? Share with her your concerns, experience, wisdom and hopes and invite a conversation that lets her know you may be old fashioned when it comes to dating, but technology or not, your daughter is always your priority.

Topics:  columns, dating, family, internet dating, opinion, romance




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'All I heard when my baby cried was ‘you’re a terrible mum'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images of Katie Dykes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

KATIE'S battle with PND is not unlike many mothers.

'I just thought all mums got no sleep'

MELTOPIA battled PND with all four of her children.

4 survival tips for mummas heading back to work

The few reminders every working mum needs to read.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Where you can vote in Bundaberg for the Federal Election

ELECTION: There are seven candidates running in Hinkler and nine in Flynn.

Where you can vote and who's running in Hinkler and Flynn

Your 2016 election day survival guide

Everything you need to know to ensure minimal inconvenience.

Minister celebrates QBPF anniversary

ELECTION TIME: Leanne Donaldson of the Labor Party is running for the State Government seat of Bundaberg. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail

Donaldson marks 50 years of fisheries

Latest deals and offers

PCYC Performing for Nanning Delegates

GARDEN PERFORMANCE: Nanning delegates talk to PCYC Blazers coordinator Trevor Standfast at the Botanical Gardens Bundaberg. Photo: Paul Donaldson / NewsMail

A short video of the PCYC Blazers performing their Lion Dancing for the Nanning...

Bundaberg Regional Budget

BUDGET PLAN: Council released the regional budget today at the Bundaberg Council Chambers. Photo: Paul Donaldson / NewsMail

Mayor Jack Dempsey talks about the budget for the Bundaberg Region.

Clive Palmer to re-open refinery

Clive Palmer on ABC radio.

Clive Palmer talks about his achievements, election chances and re-opening the...

Burnett Heads housing development approved

COUNCIL APPROVED: A Burnett Heads housing development has been approved by Bundaberg Regional Council. Photo Contributed

Councillors approved the development seven votes to four

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward