Past efforts to monitor a dating situation have failed, either because of being lied to or because of being let down by a past boyfriend's dad who promised to supervise if the two spent time at his house when he WAS there and did not. Knowing I cannot control what she does, I want to set age- appropriate parameters and attempt to hold her to them. Also, these parameters cannot be based on expecting truthfulness or abstinence.

That does not mean, that if you think she is too young that you need to hide that opinion, but present it in a way that acknowledges her ability to make different decisions, and make sure it conveys your concerns about the effects her choices may have on her rather than an issue of right or wrong.

When adults approached me in this way when I was a teen, they made the most impact.

(There's a chance that he's a friend of a friend of a friend!

My mother-bear self wants to lay down the law and tell her no way in hell is she going to be dating an 18 year old who we know nothing about.

I am only speaking from experience my daughter, found herself pregnant at 14 and although it brought us closer together emotionally, it was not a pleasant experience.

She is now 18, more mature and a fabulous person, looking back she says I was just a kid - what did I know that something like that would happen to me. I have a 16 year old daughter, though she is pretty easy, but I was a troubled 16 year old once (and I have also transracially adopted a child with challenges).

When my daughter asked me when I thought a girl was ready to have sex, I replied ''when she's ready to handle a baby.'' We all know that every form of birth control has a failure rate, so I don't think it's too far out to talk about pregnancy.

A lot of oral sex goes on in dating, with definite health risks, loss of reputation, etc.

As for the rules themselves, I think that the rules we set for teenagers are a safety net, not a protective coating, the kids can get around them if they are determined.