When can you start dating

So when it comes to dating, how can you prepare yourself to deal with potential questions and issues? This is a statistic that may strike fear in any parent’s heart, so brace yourself. It may not be the kind of “dating” you’re picturing.

The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that on average, girls begin dating as early as 12 and a half years old, and boys a year older. You may be surprised to hear dating labels like “boyfriend,” “girlfriend,” and “together” from the lips of your sixth-grader.

The preteen and teen years aren’t easy on you or your child.

As hormones fly, you can expect to deal with your fair share of conflict.

You go from changing their diapers, to teaching them how to tie their shoes, to eventually helping them understand dating and love.

When you think about, it’s actually the first intimate relationship your child is making with someone outside of the family. Remember that high school romances tend to be self-limiting, but look for warning signs too.

If your child’s grades are dropping or they aren’t spending much time with friends anymore, consider limiting how much time is being spent with that special someone. It can be a difficult conversation for everyone involved, but it’s critical to be honest and clear about the facts.

For many kids, 16 seems to be an appropriate age, but it may be entirely suitable for a mature 15-year-old to go on a date, or to make your immature 16-year-old wait a year or two.

You can also consider what other parents are doing.

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