Good age for dating
Notice what "dating" seems to mean to your child and then talk about it.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.
Nothing at all is to be gained from premature, opposite-sex involvement through dating, or for that matter, through the phone, dances, parties, or games kids love.
"A 12-year-old who looks 16 isn’t ready to date someone who is 16," Anthony says.
You may not love the idea of your child beginning to date, but don't try to pretend it’s not happening.
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?
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.
He nodded in surprise and didn’t offer his age until I asked for it. Then he excused himself to the go to the bathroom while I sat wondering what our relationship age gap meant: Would he want to move faster in a relationship? Would he be appalled by my tiny studio apartment, which I could barely afford?