Parenting guide to dating

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“This is one of those cases where less is more,” she says.“Provide basic information to a child, depending on age and developmental stage.” And remember: They’re your kids, not your friends.This kind of group stuff is a safe and healthy way to interact with members of the opposite sex without the awkwardness that a one-on-one scenario can bring. 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.

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.

When you’re first dating all you need to say is that you’re going out with a friend. If you’re getting to the point when it’s time for your kids to meet this new partner, create a scene for success. Say that you’d like them to meet this special friend (they should know the person’s name by now).

They don’t even have to know his or her name at this stage. Reassure them “All kids want to know is that they’re still the most important people in your life no matter what. You can acknowledge their question, assess whether or not it’s one you should answer and just simply tell them that you aren’t going to answer that right now. Then listen, acknowledge and validate—no matter what their reaction is.

Even if your son is mooning over a certain girl, most 12-year-olds aren’t really ready for the one-on-one interaction of a true relationship.

For eighth-graders, dating likely means lots of time spent texting or talking on the phone, sharing images on social media, and hanging out in groups.

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