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."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.Notice what "dating" seems to mean to your child and then talk about it.
There’s a right way and a wrong way to start dating and begin a relationship.Michelle Anthony, Ph D, a developmental psychologist and learning therapist in Denver, suggests an opening line like: “It sounds like a lot of kids are talking about dating now. ” If you can't tell what dating means to your kid, try discussing dating as shown on TV shows or in movies that are age-appropriate.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.Here are my top 9 must-know rules for doing it the RIGHT way.These rules will make your life better and happier — and make dating a lot less crazy!