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Setting Right Parental Missteps Parenting is a very guilty affair, and no one—not one of us—does the job perfectly.

We can no more be perfect parents than we can be perfect human beings.

Kids today don’t plunge into dating without first going through the “talking to each other” phase.

This means a boy and girl who feel an attraction spend time together, whether alone or in groups, then text and/or Snapchat in-between.

“It’s not your parents’ dating anymore,” concedes Robin Gurwitch, a clinical psychologist at the Duke Center for Child and Family Health.

Yes, the prom as we knew it still exists, but even its drama pales in comparison to today’s boy-girl relationship issues.

A fairly high bar stands between this phase and actual “dating,” wherein one member of the couple — usually the boy — officially asks the other out.

Megan*, a senior at Myers Park High School in Charlotte, says only about 20 percent of these relationships result in an official couple.

Parents should establish ground rules for texting members of the opposite sex and explain the importance of avoiding any form of “sexting.” Parents should also monitor their child’s text conversations and follow/friend them on any social media sites where they have accounts.

Young teens have especially fragile egos, so negative peer feedback on social media can be especially damaging.

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, you suggested some ways unmarried people can build healthy relationships and not smother each other. Would you apply the "tough love" principle to those of us who are not married?

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