Rule for dating teenage boy
I still feel like a teen, and having had the opportunity to teach teens last year and this year in a Bible study class, they have become my favorite people to hang out with. Our family rule is that dating starts at the age of 16. Couples can form as early as elementary school, and though it’s fairly innocent at that age, and definitely not considered “dating” in my mind, it’s one of the things that as parents we can be supportive of it, on the fence, or against it.I’m so excited to start sharing more thoughts on parenting teens, in a monthly series with a few friends, where they will join me in talking about teen topics, as we share our thoughts/experiences. It’s always been that, they have always known, so that decision was made well in advance. Not sure if it’s because of my chill boys, or because they’ve just always known the family rule. My daughter was “asked out” in 4th grade, and though I thought it was adorable and fairly harmless, she said, “I can’t date til I’m 16” to the boy, and that was that."Most of the activity happens in a pack, and communication takes place between friend groups." By 8th grade, dating probably means talking on the phone and hanging out, usually in groups.By high school, kids are more likely to develop serious romantic attachments.Puberty, for the most part, is predictable and pretty easy to talk about. If so, will you set limits for him, or how will he determine how far he should go physically, and when? Does your son have a healthy respect for the opposite sex?Sure, I shared some personal convictions about things I believe every family should have in place before their boys become teenagers, but overall, the first three posts in this series were objective and fit for all kinds of families. Have you talked to him about how to treat a woman, and about mutual consent? Does your son have personal convictions about drugs and alcohol?“Of course it will probably be uncomfortable for both of you,” Anthony says.“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.
Pay attention to how they respond when you start a conversation about dating. 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.RELATED: Living with a mood swingin' tween To get any personal info on your teen's dating, it's usually helpful to have some "grapevine" info to start with, like, "I heard that you and Sarah were going out … I'd rather hear the real scoop from you than have to rely on gossip." But don't expect a big download. Just because another mom has a Chatty Cathy, that doesn't mean your Clam-up Kid is "less close" to you. Younger teens usually pursue their romantic interests via texts and third parties who scout out whether the other party is interested.All we can do is try to strike up conversations that may give us some clues over time. Younger teens may "go out" (meaning: explore the idea of being a "couple") and break up and never even have a face-to-face conversation.
Welcome to part Four in my All things teen/pre-teen boy series. If you’ve missed any, catch the introduction, and first three posts here: Intro, Preparing for Puberty, Kids and Porn, and What to Expect When Your Son Starts Puberty.