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Readers Respond: At what age should teens start dating?

Responses: 132


My beginning on dating

I have always had very good values.I personally believe when your child developes an idea of priorities and of course has had the sex talk they then can discuss dating.communication is key,you want you child to feel like they don't have to seek attention from relationships.times have changed there is a lot of presure on children in middle school so when you think your child is mature. I think children should be allowed to date 13-15 . Remember that kids may date behind your back if you make them afraid of the comfrontation . Dont make it a negitive subject.
—Guest Ashleywonders

Teen Dating

It is totally normal for a boy and a girl to date in middle school (age 12-14) Its nothing out of the ordinary, everyone dates around this age..My daughter is 13 right know and she is dating a really nice kid and I know his parents very well and we allow them to go on dates to the movies with friends, and go over to each others house.. Any parent can do this if they would just have some TRUST... All they will do is hold hand, and possible kiss, its not like your going to die because your daughter, or son kissed someone! It's very natural at this age to act that way.. Things ain't like they were in the old days..So face the facts that your kids are growing up, they are going to do what they want.. Any questions or comments please feel free to send me an email to athleticgirl_2125@yahoo.com
—Guest Agree to teen dating

When they're ready.

I have 4 daughters (ages 16, 14, 12 and 8) and 3 of them have started dating. I have always been completely open with my kids about everything and they do the same. Half of the kids' parents let them date and half don't. But the ones who's parents don't let them date can and will date behind their backs. You can set a strict age, which makes kids want to break that rule, but I prefer to educate my children as much as possible and then, when they're ready, they will date. But the difference is that they will involve you and in turn, be safer. I believe that there is no specific age but generally they can hold hands, go on group dates and maybe a peck on the cheek at ages 12-14. Hope this helps!
—Guest MomOfFour

Get Real

Despite the amount of rules parents may enforce, these rules will not stop their child from maturing and having the mindset of wanting to be in a relationship. Rather than setting up a strict, no dating until college rule, it's better to let the children know at a young age what you deem to be morally correct. If you let your child know beforehand what dating is, naturally he/she will make the right decisions. I don't believe that children in middle school are fully mature for relationships just yet, but if they are then that will be something parents will have to accept. I just want the best for my children and if they think they're ready then I trust them to know that I raised them well enough to make their own decisions. Sure I may need to step in occasionally to make sure they're being safe, but prohibiting them from experiencing a relationship is essentially stopping them from growing and maturing. My daughter started dating junior year and has grown a lot from it.
—Guest Sarah H


Okay I have 6 kids. My oldest, Caroline, is 18, then Bradley is 16, Natalie is 15, Landon is 12, Emma is 8, and my newest baby Celia is 8 months. Honestly it depends on my kids. Caroline just started dating because she is my WILD CHILD. Bradley is allowed to date but chooses not to. And my other babies are not allowed to date yet, considering their age.
—Guest momma bear

Knowing your child

The judgment of your childs maturity is the main key. If they show good examples of judgment, communication and maturity it should be fine. I never had the "drugs, sex dating and alcohol talk". In my extended family drugs alcohol and sex were talked about freely without any positives or negatives attached. We were all exposed to everything at a young age and shown good examples of the situations with good common sense. I started dating when I was 15 and without a cell phone. I never said I was dating but, my parents never questioned and knew that if I needed to talk to them I could always come to talk to them. We have never had bad issues with dating too early that sort of stuff just because of the initial attitude and judgment of the child. Everyone has there own time for dating by talking to them too much may make them pressured to date when they’re not ready or thinking about it.
—Guest Elizabeth

It Depends

Parents need to make their decision for their child. Start with group dates, meet the boy/girl, talk to your child and ask lots of questions. Always know where they are and check in. Talk to your child about sex. I think the parent can decide the right age for their child. Kids are all different.
—Guest Mom of 2 Teens

Depends on the Child

I am the mother of a 12 year old girl, who makes straight A's, enters and often wins voice competitions, is in her school orchestra, and involved in many leadership activities at her school. In short, she excels at most everything that she does. With that said, we permitted her to begin dating a boy, who is also an excellent student, school leader, and musician, just over six months ago. They see each other at least once at week outside of school. Sometimes they are alone, watching a movie. He is almost 2 years older than she is and one grade ahead of her in school. Many of you will think we are crazy, I am sure. However, my daughter has blossomed in the past six months, learning to effectively communicate her feelings to and about this boy. She has a strong sense of who she is and what her values are, and we are fortunate that he shares those values. They are best friends. She will be hurt if they separate. But she will always have this first, beautiful dating experience.


America has the greatest teen pregnancy rate in the world because girls can't wait until there married. I understand you want them to get use to it but 12 ,15 there not even out of high school. If they start at 12 they become dependent on having a boyfriend there going to have sex early and become a ho for starting early and will continue to have boy friends. You're suppose to teach your kids value sex is suppose to be special instead its what there doing for fun when your not there.
—Guest A Good Friend

Honest Opinion

I don't see why some people start dating at 12 or ages around there. I understand many are desperate for that type of affection or conquest or whatever dating may mean to them, but at that age dating isn't what it meant before. Dating before the age of 17 is pointless and leads to some experiences you may regret in the future.
—Guest Jeanie

Wait it out as long as possible

My daughter turned 16 in June. She just came to me asking to go on a date this weekend and I'm hesitant because the boy is 18. I'm shocked at the number of parents that let their children date as early as 12. I know that children have crushes and all that at that age but let's face it, they are still babies at 12. To each his own, I guess. That would never happen in my house.
—Guest Shocked

I think 12. 17 is ridiculous!

I think that when they hit the middle school age they should be allowed to date. It allows them to get comfortable with the idea of dating. It also prepares them for future, more serious relationships. I think making your child wait until she/he is 17 or up is ridiculous. My daughter made a vow with her close friend(at age 11)not to date until they were 16. However the next year her friend broke the promise. I think group dates, visiting each others houses, holding hands, hugging and pecks on the cheeks are appropriate at her age. I think 16 is when they can go on dates alone and get slightly more intimate, but not as far as sex. I think sex should be saved for after you're married. My daughter has told me she has no desire to go any further than hugging, holding hands and maybe a peck on the cheek with her boyfriend. I think it is important to trust that your child is responsible enough to stay within the boundaries. I know my daughter will. So, I think that about 12 is a good age.
—Guest Danielle

Good Kid

I am 15 and my parents have given me permission to date but I guess I'm a late bloomer? I really don't care for all the hand holding, keeping dibs on someone else, and kissing all the time. I've had boys come up and offer their companionship and I turn them down. I have friends who get all worked up over these little boys and it seems silly, some girls I know aren't even virgins anymore. (I'm a 15yr old girl) My mom and Dad instilled good values in me and I don't need some little boy telling me I pretty. I could've told myself that. My point is, everyone grows, matures, and likes different things. Parents should be like mine; open for questions, armed with understanding & facts, and trusting. When I do bring a boy home I know my mom will be cool because me and her know where I am and what I want. So 15-16 is where you release your young to the dogs. :)
—Guest MyMommaDontPlay

Daughter dating

My daughter is 14 soon to be 15 and has her first boyfriend. Right now their relationship consists of dates at one another's homes with parents and family present. I am comfortable with this right now. We have been very open with our daughter about dating, relationships, and sex. We have met his parents and we also have a dialog with his parents. We have agreed to no alone dates at all until 16 or older.
—Guest Jennifer

Teen dating

I strongly don't believe in allowing teens to date. Until the child is out of school I believe the only thing they should be stressing over is getting the best grade possible and good sportsmanship. Going to the movies or outing with a group of friends of both sex is great, but do they really need to have ownership over another person at such a young age. You can only truly know who you are and what type of person you want to spend your life with by interacting with several different people. Learn to laugh before they start to cry.
—Guest I say no

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