12 and 18 year old dating

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.

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.

But don’t pretend it’s not happening (or that it won’t at some point), whether your child has brought it up or not.

If you want your child to understand your expectations and rules about dating, you need to express them.

As hormones fly, you can expect to deal with your fair share of conflict.

So when it comes to dating, how can you prepare yourself to deal with potential questions and issues? The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that on average, girls begin dating as early as 12 and a half years old, and boys a year older.

When your child mentions dating, or a girlfriend or boyfriend, try to get an idea of what those concepts mean to them.

You may be surprised to hear dating labels like “boyfriend,” “girlfriend,” and “together” from the lips of your sixth-grader.

Some kids may have progressed to hand-holding as well.

In high school, strong romantic attachments can be formed and things can get serious, fast.

Don’t let your child learn about dating from their friends or the media.

Start talking casually about what constitutes a healthy relationship to build the framework they’ll use when they’re reading to start dating.

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