For example, if you think it should be reserved for marriage, say so.
But realize that parental influence on teenagers is limited and that you have a duty to provide the information they need to stay safe no matter what they choose.
We caught up with two local experts on teen relationships and sexuality and asked for their tips on setting guidelines for kids entering the dating game.
Lynn Ponton, University of California San Francisco professor of adolescent psychiatry and author of The Sex Lives of Teenagers and The Romance of Risk, and Nancy Brown, a developmental psychologist and education projects manager for Palo Alto Medical Foundation, both agree: Parents should set the stage for safe dating long before their child becomes a teen.
Enforcing rigid gender stereotypes or engaging in harmful relations ourselves can set our kids up for relationship woes later on.
The old worries about teen pregnancy, tarnished reputations and broken hearts still apply, but today there are new risks due to rising rates of dating violence and sexually-transmitted infections (STIs).