Ray Guarendi As a family psychologist, I am often asked by parents when their children should begin dating. Let’s suppose that you’ve decided to begin dating discussions when your daughter turns 16.
They usually hasten to inform me, “All his (her) friends are dating.” My quick answer is: When they’re married, and only with their spouse. Now back in the old days — the early 1980s — you met resistance for such a decision mainly from the children. You can’t wrap a moral bubble around them; they have to deal with life. A recent survey suggested that if a child has a first date between the ages of 11 and 13, he or she has a 90% probability of being sexually active during senior year in high school. Key factors to consider in granting any type of dating freedom are your child’s: • moral maturity • independence of thought • history of conduct in other social settings • strength of will • social judgment • choice of friends • responsibility toward schoolwork • respect for authority.
These statistics may help you convince your parents that the time may also be right for you to begin dating.
While it may not be what you envisioned, teenage boys may start going on "dates" as part of a bigger group at around 13 1/2 years, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics -- though the majority of the teens in these group outings are actually unattached.
Seriously, though, when is your child ready to date? "At this age, kids use dating labels but aren’t ready to have much direct one-on-one interaction beyond maybe sitting together at lunch or recess," says Dale Atkins, Ph D, a family therapist in New York.
"I think there are some prerequisites that are more important than a standard age," says Dr. "Parents need to do a lot of work to educate their child about communicating with crushes, texting and sexting, valuing themselves, the importance of a good reputation and making good decisions when it comes to who to date before letting adolescents out into the wild, wild west of dating."Others, like the people below, tend to agree with Dr.“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..action_button.action_button:active.action_button:hover.action_button:focus,.action_button:hover.action_button:focus .count,.action_button:hover .count.action_button:focus .count:before,.action_button:hover .count:bullet. Recently, the children of two close friends have begun dating. So I threw the question out there to the World Wide Web: "At what age did you or will you allow your children to start dating? And it made me realize that we, as parents, have a pretty wide range of ideas on what age kids should be allowed to start dating and even on what dating means at various ages.