For eighth-graders, dating likely means lots of time spent talking on the phone and hanging out in groups.
Some kids may have progressed to hand holding as well.
While there may be interest between two in particular, it’s not double-dating so much as a group heading out or meeting up at the movies or the mall. There’s no right answer, even if most parents feel strongly that sometime around age 35 is perfect.
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.
As hormones fly, you can expect to deal with your fair share of conflict.
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.