Amber-Ice asks:

how do you know when its the right time to date?

In Topics: Teen issues, Teen sexuality and dating
> 60 days ago



Boys Town National Hotline
Oct 16, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

The age at which a teen should be allowed to date depends on your child's maturity and a bit of your own gut instinct. Although there is no set age at which it is appropriate for a teen to begin dating, studies have shown that kids who start dating when they are 12 and under experience more problems in school and have more emotional and behavior problems. Many parents start to allow their teens to go on group dates at around age 13 or 14. Once teens are in high school and are around 16 years old it's common for them to begin going on limited one-on-one dates.

As the parent, you know your child best, so if you feel that they are not emotionally mature enough to handle a relationship it's best to wait. Another factor to consider is the age of the person they want to date. It is not usually advised to have 2 or more years age difference when they are teens. Kids can always talk on the phone and socialize at school. And, don't let your teen or pre-teen make you feel guilty because their friends are dating. If you feel that they aren't ready or are wanting to date someone you feel is not appropriate for them, trust your intuition and talk to them about your concerns. You are the parent and some day they will understand.

If you would like to talk with a counselor about this or any other parenting issue, please call or e-mail our Hotline. Counselors are available 24 hours, 7 days a week. We have an excellent website for parents: We also have a wonderful website for teens:
Counselors are available 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Take care and best wishes to you and your family!

Cynthia, Counselor
Boys Town National Hotline
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