Appropriate dating behavior
George Comerci, a Tucson pediatrician, told Healthy
“It is a very important relationship to teenagers, and it’s important for another reason, in that it is their first intimate relationship with someone outside their family.”Some experts warn against waiting too long to allow kids to date.
Their lack of maturity leaves them ill-prepared to handle some of the common emotions and issues that couples face, and without many peers going through similar experiences, they’re left to figure things out for themselves.
Researchers also cited an increase in the risk of unsafe sex, alcohol use, and more, according to the Wall Street Journal.
But while the culture of teen dating has evolved, has the age at which it starts changed, and when exactly is the best time? The Great Debate There’s a stark difference between early daters and those who wait until they’re old enough for a learner’s permit.
What the research says On average, kids begin group dating at 12-and-a-half for girls and 13-and-a-half for boys, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Boys and girls who start dating between the ages of 11-and-a-half and 13 may experience more academic and behavioral problems than their peers, according to a study published in the Journal of Adolescence.
The Great Debate The answer depends on a variety of factors, including personality and maturity level.
What the experts say Most recommend 15 and 16 as the ideal ages to begin dating.
Notice what "dating" seems to mean to your child and then talk about it.
Michelle Anthony, Ph D, a developmental psychologist and learning therapist in Denver, suggests an opening line like: “It sounds like a lot of kids are talking about dating now. ” If you can't tell what dating means to your kid, try discussing dating as shown on TV shows or in movies that are age-appropriate.
Being the sneaky teenager that I was, I paid my brother to scram!
” — Erica Diaz, Chino, California.“Forget about it.