Dating at age 14
You may be surprised to hear dating labels like “boyfriend,” “girlfriend,” and “together” from the lips of your sixth-grader.
At this age, it probably means your son or daughter is sitting next to a special someone at lunch or hanging out at recess.
Don’t minimize, trivialize, or make fun of your child’s first relationship.
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.
It could be a little uncomfortable or embarrassing, but if your child is unable to even discuss it with you without getting defensive or upset, take that as a sign that they probably aren’t ready. Be aware that for many tweens and young teenagers, dating amounts to socializing in a group. It’s important to consider your child as an individual.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. Consider their emotional maturity and sense of responsibility.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.It’s obvious a lot has changed among teens in recent years.For one, group dating is more popular than ever (not to be confused with double dating, this is when girls and boys hang out en masse, usually at a mall or a restaurant).
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.