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The most striking difference is the young age at which children now begin dating: on average, twelve and a half for girls, and thirteen and a half for boys.
However, you might not recognize it as dating per se.
The breakup of a romance can be painful at any stage of life.“Parents should never minimize or ridicule a first love,” says Tucson pediatrician Dr. “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.” When “going out” evolves into “going steady,” it is natural to worry that things are getting too serious too soon.If you see schoolwork start to suffer and friendships fall by the wayside, it is reasonable to restrict the number of times Romeo and Juliet can rendezvous during the school week.Going out in mixed groups also gives boys and girls an opportunity to just enjoy one another’s company, without the awkwardness and sexual tension that can intrude upon a one-to-one date. Many of us feel that way when we imagine our son or daughter disappearing into the night arm in arm with a young lady or a young man. Eagar advises not allowing single dating before age sixteen.At what age are children old enough to date “solo”? “There’s an enormous difference between a fourteen- or fifteen-year- old and a sixteen- or seventeen-year-old in terms of life experience,” he says. While parent-teen conversations must encompass the hormones, hydraulics and other biological aspects of love and attraction, equal time should be devoted to thoughtful discussions about love as the most powerful and heartfelt of all human emotions.
Providing a safe and secure base for your teen to communicate with you openly about his or her relationships and helping your teen think about expectations and values in relationships can lead to a relationship smart teen!