ou’ve seen it in the movies or on TV: the sweet, innocent daughter is busy studying for classes, spending time with her family, and volunteering at the local animal shelter.
The greasy-haired, tattoo-covered guy has dropped out of high school or college and spends his day driving around in his sleek car. Most of us haven’t experienced this sort of extreme, but it’s still very common for parents to find their older teens and adult children pursuing friendships and relationships with people they don’t approve of.
"But I didn't start dating until I was 18," says Mom. According to one survey, nearly half of teens between the ages of 11 to 14 years old are dating.
More and more parents are faced with this dilemma today.
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Thank them for being willing to talk for a few minutes.
Groups can offer a safe, protective way for kids to learn.
But at the same time, parents need to discuss not going too far too fast.
"Parents should take an active role in teaching and helping their kids understand what normal dating behaviours are." By understanding what "healthy" dating is at this age, parents can set limits and protect their child.
At the end of the day, "it's better than saying they shouldn't date at all." "What is healthy is being in a group of boys and girls and transitioning from same-sex-only groups into groups in contact with the other sex," says Connolly.