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.For instance, Atkins suggests asking your child why they think someone acted the way they did, and whether they made a good or healthy choice. It's your job, as their parent, to figure out if your child is ready to handle the level of dating they have in mind.Conventional wisdom says there’s no “right” age to start dating – it depends on the child’s maturity.But new research suggests there is probably a “wrong” age to start dating: middle school.Here are five things every parent should know: While some teens tend to be interested in dating earlier than others, romantic interests are normal during adolescence.Girls are more vocal about the dating interest and tend to be interested in a greater degree at a younger age, but boys are paying attention also.If your pre-teen is in pursuit of a junior-high romance, make sure you’ve talked with them about these five risks: #1 Drug Use – Building on a large body of research, a recent study from the University of Georgia found children who date in middle school use alcohol and marijuana twice as much as their peers who hold off on dating until high school.The more time teens spend with a love interest, the more likely they are to use drugs.
Instead, first dates may be awkward, but they can also be a lot of fun.
Then tell them, “Just three more years, and you can date.” Just kidding -- sort of.
Parents may joke that it’s an experience they want their child to have -- just not until somewhere around the age of 30. A 6th grade girl may say, "Jacob is my boyfriend," but what does that mean?
“But if he’s so uncomfortable that he gets angry or shuts down or otherwise just can’t continue the conversation, that’s a big sign that he’s not ready for this.” If so, assure your child that there’s no hurry to start dating.
By the time most children enter middle school their parents are starting to realize they’re not little kids anymore. Regardless, many are playing the part, wearing makeup, spending hours on Facebook and, much to their parents’ dismay, asking to go on dates.