So long as kids’ grades aren’t suffering and nothing else is falling by the wayside, let them progress from friendships to dating at their own pace. The vast majority of first loves never make it past high school. Just keep an eye on your teens, and let them know they can come to you if they need you. After all, it probably seems like just yesterday you were buying action figures and setting up tea parties.
Being the sneaky teenager that I was, I paid my brother to scram!” — Erica Diaz, Chino, California.“Forget about it.George Comerci, a Tucson pediatrician, told Healthy “It is a very important relationship to teenagers, and it’s important for another reason, in that it is their first intimate relationship with someone outside their family.”Some experts warn against waiting too long to allow kids to date.Their lack of maturity leaves them ill-prepared to handle some of the common emotions and issues that couples face, and without many peers going through similar experiences, they’re left to figure things out for themselves.
Researchers also cited an increase in the risk of unsafe sex, alcohol use, and more, according to the Wall Street Journal.
For Ron Eagar, a pediatrician at Denver Health Medical Center, the magic number is 16.
“There’s an enormous difference between a fourteen- or fifteen-year-old and a sixteen- or seventeen-year-old in terms of life experience,” he told Healthy Children.org, the website for the AAP.“Sixteen — and even a bit older — is a good age for dating, provided that the teen is mature,” Leslie Beth Wish, a psychologist and clinical social worker, told She Knows.
As tweens become teens and Facebook links replace friendship bracelets, dating ensues, leaving many parents wondering, what’s the best age for teens to begin coupling up?
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But moms who've already been through this stage say it needn't be cause for stress; the key is to figure out whether your particular child is truly ready to begin dating. Nichole N., a mom of five, spaning from age 6 to 25, believes that it "depends on the maturity of the child." And Angie B.