At this age, it probably means your son or daughter is sitting next to a special someone at lunch or hanging out at recess.
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.
"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.
February 11, 2016 By Ellen Braaten, Co-Director Posted in: Hot Topics, Teenagers Topics: Relationships How old were you when you were first allowed to date?
Did your parents have rules about when you could first “go out” in a group, and later, on a “real” date?For instance, Atkins suggests asking your child why they think someone acted the way they did, and whether they made a good or healthy choice. It's your job, as their parent, to figure out if your child is ready to handle the level of dating they have in mind.Pay attention to how they respond when you start a conversation about dating.You go from changing their diapers, to teaching them how to tie their shoes, to eventually helping them understand dating and love.The preteen and teen years aren’t easy on you or your child.And he or she needs your guidance and support right now." You don’t want them learning the rules of dating from peers or the media, without your input.