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s và Stages
When To Let Your Teenager Start Dating
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Article BodyDating customs have changed since you were a teenager. The most striking difference is the young age at which children now begin dating : on average, twelve & a half for girls, và thirteen & a half for boys .
However, you might not recognize it as dating per se. The recent trend among early adolescents is for boys & girls lớn socialize as part of a nhóm. They march off en masse phệ the mall or mập the movies, or join a gang tossing a Frisbee on the beach .
Don’t confuse nhóm dating with double-dating or triple-dating. While there may be the occasional lãng mạn twosome among the members, the majority are unattached. If anything, youngsters in the nhóm spend as much thời gian interacting with their same-sex friends as they vì with members of the opposite sex .
Dr. Ron Eagar, a pediatrician at Denver Health Medical Center, views nhóm dating as a healthy way for adolescents béo ease into the dating pool rather than dive in. “ The number-one benefit is safety, ” says the father of two grown children. Going out in mixed groups also gives boys và girls an opportunity béo just enjoy one another’s company, without the awkwardness và sexual tension that can intrude upon a one-to-one date .
At what age are children old enough phệ date “ đối chọi ” ? Not before they’re thirty-five. Preferably forty .
Many of us feel that way when we imagine our son or daughter disappearing into the night arm in arm with a young lady or a young man .
As a general guideline, Dr. Eagar advises not allowing single dating before age sixteen. “ There’s an enormous difference between a fourteen – or fifteen-year – old và a sixteen – or seventeen-year-old in terms of life experience, ” he says. You might add or subtract a year depending on how mature và responsible your youngster is. Community standards might be a consideration. Are other parents letting their teens date yet ?
Love and Relationships
While parent-teen conversations must encompass the hormones, hydraulics và other biological aspects of love và attraction, equal thời gian should be devoted phệ thoughtful discussions about love as the most powerful và heartfelt of all human emotions .
Love is a subject of unending fascination for adolescents. Topping their danh sách of questions is, “ How bởi vì you know when you’re in love with somebody ? ” They are also genuinely curious about their parents ’ courtship & marriage ( “ Mom, did you fall in love with Dad at first sight ? ” ) và, if applicable, divorce ( “ Dad, how can two people love each other for years & years, then stop being in love ? ” ) .
Having an imperfect lãng mạn résumé yourself does not disqualify you from initiating this conversation. You might say, “ I haven’t always made the wisest decisions when it comes mập love, but I’ve promised myself that the next phút giây I become involved with someone special, I won’t settle for anything less than a healthy, honest relationship. When you’re older và ready bự start dating, I hope that you will vì the same. We both deserve the best, right ? ”
Call It Puppy Love, It’s Still Love
Adults generally take a cynical view of teenage romance, as if it were a chemical imbalance in need of correction. “ It’s all about sex, ” they say. “ You know what they’re lượt thích when their hormones start raging. ” A boy và a girl float xuống dốc the street holding hands, dizzy in love, và all parents see is testosterone & estrogen out on a date .
Just look at the words used lớn describe affection between two young people : “ infatuation, ” “ crush, ” “ puppy love. ” If it feels lượt thích love béo the two puppies, isn’t it love ? To reiterate a point made earlier, it wasn’t all that long ago that many couples got married in their teens .
“ Parents should chưa bao giờ minimize or ridicule a first love, ” says Tucson pediatrician Dr. George Comerci. “ It is a very important relationship phệ teenagers, & it’s important for another reason, in that it is their first intimate relationship with someone outside their family. ”
When “ going out ” evolves into “ going steady, ” it is natural lớn worry that things are getting too serious too soon. If you see schoolwork start phệ suffer và friendships fall by the wayside, it is reasonable mập restrict the number of times Romeo và Juliet can rendezvous during the school week. High-school romances tend lớn have limited life spans. Thos e that endure until graduation day rarely survive the post-high-school years. If one or both young people leave home page, the physical distance has a way of opening an emotional distance between them, và eventually the relationship coasts bự a halt .
First Heartbreak: Helping Your Teenager Cope
The breakup of a romance can be painful at any stage of life. Still, when an adult relationship ends badly, at least the wounded các buổi party knows from having weathered other disappointments that the all-too-familiar hollow feeling & veil of depression will inevitably lift .
Teenagers haven’t yet learned how resilient the heart is. The first giây phút they experience lãng mạn rejection, the sadness can seem bottomless. Parents need bự treat a brokenhearted youngster’s feelings seriously .
“Breakups are one of the major precipitators of suicidal gestures in young people,” says Dr. Eagar. The vast majority of kids, though, will get over their hurt and be fine. Moms and dads can aid the healing process by being generous with their time, patience and hugs. A little extra sensitivity helps, too, for in this situation, knowing what not to say is as important as choosing the right words.
Acknowledge your teen’s pain but assure her that she will be happy again. “I understand how upset you are, and I know you may feel like your sadness is never going to go away. But it will, and probably sooner than you think.”
Do not use this opportunity to reveal how you never liked the newly insignificant significant other in the first place. Your son may be venting his rage at the girl who dumped him, but don’t be fooled. It will probably be some time before he abandons the hope that she’ll realize her mistake and come crawling back. Remember, too, that teen relationships on the wane frequently flicker on again.
Allow your child to feel sad. To tell someone who is upset, “Hey, cheer up! It’s not that bad!” (or words to that effect) essentially implies that she does not have a right to her emotions. However, blues that linger for more than a few weeks may warrant professional counseling.
Encourage him to get together with friends—but don’t nag. When he’s ready to socialize, he’ll do so without any prompting.
Share a story from your own adolescence. “My first year in college, I fell madly in love with this girl named Elyse. We spent every moment together. I couldn’t imagine ever being with anyone else, and I thought she felt the same way about me.
“One day, out of the blue, she told me that our relationship was getting too serious, and that she wanted to date other people. I was crushed! I moped for weeks. I used to spy on her around campus; some nights I’d stand outside her dorm just to see if she walked in the front door with anybody. My friends couldn’t stand to be around me, and I don’t blame them! I’d get all morose and moan about Elyse, Elyse, Elyse.
“ Now I’m thankful that she broke up with me. Because if she hadn’t, I’d chưa bao giờ have met your mother ! ”
- Caring for Your Teenager ( Copyright © 2003 American Academy of Pediatrics )
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care và advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts & circumstances .
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