Up until now, there are unsettled discussions and contradicting opinions about teen dating. While some parents are open to the idea of their kids dating, some would strongly disagree on this matter.
Dating nowadays, however, has become more easily accessible that it’s almost impossible for parents to prevent their kids from dating. The world wide web is full of platforms where kids and adults alike can quickly connect with other internet users across the globe. Several sites and apps are available at anyone’s disposal to build and establish relationships. Here are the commonly used dating apps for teens, and some tips on how to ensure their safety.
Is Your Child Using Dating Apps?
Several parents raise their brows on the availability and accessibility of online dating apps for teens. They are specifically concerned about the safety and security of young people utilizing such dating sites.
The less tech-savvy parents are utterly worried since they’re having a hard time catching up with their tech-liberated children. If you’re one of those parents who are unsure if their kids are using teen dating sites, here are some tips for you.
- Initiate an Open and Healthy Conversation
Sit down with your kids and have heart-to-heart conversations. Initiate a two-way open communication and ensure you talk to their level of understanding. Ask them nicely what their current stand on dating is, and whether or not they’re using teen dating apps. If they do, don’t immediately escalate the conversation, try to understand their side of the story, and share yours politely and respectfully.
- Establish a House Rule to Regularly Check Their Phones
Not all kids aren’t comfortable opening up to their parents especially when it comes to their love life. So, you might want to consider making a house rule requiring them to surrender their devices for a certain time of the day or the week. By doing so, you cannot only check if they’re using dating apps, but could also conduct an overall check-up on their devices for safer use.
- Install a Reliable Phone Monitoring Software
One of the surest ways of confirming if your kids are utilizing dating sites is through the help of phone monitoring software. A reliable and efficient monitoring app gives you remote and real-time access to their phones, making it easier for you to monitor and regulate their app activities. Though these apps utilize complex codes and algorithms to function properly, you won’t have to worry as these are surprisingly easy to utilize and navigate.
10 Popular Online Dating Apps Teens Are Using
So that you’d know which to look out for or have a better idea of how to guide your kids, here are some of the most popular online dating apps used by teens worldwide.
Like most teen dating websites, anyone can easily create a profile with Skout as there’s no strict process in place to verify the date of birth. Hence, though this friendship and dating app claims to be for 18 years and older users only, anyone can use it.
Yubo, previously named Yellow, is a free app that allows its users to easily make new friends. Though its creators didn’t intend this to be a dating platform, its swipe feature attracts several people to utilize it as a casual hookup platform.
- Hot or Not
This dating app/site developed by Badoo is widely used by high school teens and professional adults alike. It highlights location-based features that could match users within 50 miles away. There are various options for signing up, making it easier for even minors to create accounts.
Kik is a messaging app and social networking site. Users start conversations with randomly matched strangers and would have an option to add/accept them as friends and further get to know each other.
This app enables its users to meet, chat, and have fun with one another. It allows chatting with locals, watching live streams, meeting face-to-face, and more. Aside from mature content, be wary of the availability of in-app purchases.
MyLOL is known for its Shouts feature which highlights live feeds of comments. Similarly, the age can be easily forged and some profiles use fake or unrelated photos, making it harder to identify the real identity of the person they’re chatting with.
- Bumble Date
This is another right-swiping app, but with a twist — Bumble has a “women make the first move” rule, which means you need to reach out within 24 hours or the match expires. (In same-sex pairings, either person can make the first move.) The match expires if no first move is initiated by the woman/girl within 24 hours.
Happn also uses GPS locations to create matches. Users are notified if another user is physically within 850 feet of them, also a member of their gym, hanging out at the same bar, attending the same school, or any other detected similarities.
Everyone’s profile on this dating app is initially blurred, allowing users to chat and get to know one another without biased judgments. The more a person chats, the clearer the photos become. This is one of the newest dating apps so there are lesser users as well.
Tinder is one of the few first dating apps that has retained fame and popularity. This app started the swipe feature where users can swipe right or left just by looking at profile pictures. Its popularity, however, is the same reason why it has become a den of catfishers and scammers.
Should Teens Be Using Dating Apps?
So, the million-dollar question is should parents allow dating apps for teens?
Everyone has unique personalities and kids or teens are of no exemption. Hence, there are no standard/moral laws or one-rule-fits-all when it comes to one’s dating relationship. In most cases, it’s up to the parents when their kid is allowed to have a boyfriend or girlfriend. At the end of the day, however, no matter how strongly parents would disagree, kids tend to find ways to date.
Teens having healthy relationships or unhealthy relationships isn’t solely because of their parents. Along with various internal and external factors, the utilization of online dating platforms would still be the child’s decision. The last thing parents could do is to always be there for guidance.
To give parents a great start in guiding their kids, here are some advantages and disadvantages of using online dating platforms.
- They have a plethora of options.
- They could easily strengthen their relationship through constant or regular communication.
- They’re less likely to get involved in early responsibilities and/or huge consequences like teenage pregnancy.
- They could fall victims to online predators like child groomers and catfishers.
- They might have a false impression about how romantic relationships must be handled.
- They might have lower standards since they’ll be solely depending on words or verbal expressions.
- They might get aloof when they decide to meet or date in person.
8 Teen Dating Safety Tips To Teach Your Child
Probably one of the greatest fears of parents is when their kids start dating. As cheesy as it may sound, children would always be their parents’ babies no matter how old they get. Nevertheless, no one, not even parents or guardians, can prevent kids/teens from entering into romantic relationships.
So, when that time comes, instead of acting the villain and being a hindrance for them to create an account on any dating app, be physically and emotionally supportive. Here are some tips to ensure they date safely.
- Talk to your teen about relationships.
- Show/tell them real-life scenarios or personal experiences.
- Be there when choosing an online dating app to ensure they at least utilize one with reliable safety protocols.
- Help them create their profiles to avoid over-disclosure of personal information.
- Randomly check their profiles to make sure no age-inappropriate content is sent or received.
- Constantly remind them of your relationship-related life lessons.
- Be more involved in their love life by encouraging them to open up and share any updates or developments on their relationship.
- Install an efficient and reliable spy software on their phone for real-time and better monitoring.