Age of dating
It’s pretty common to date someone who’s a few years younger or older than you, and often the age difference is no big deal.Sometimes, maturity levels match, even when ages don’t.
The bottom line It’s perfectly natural to wonder if your child is ready to begin dating.But while the culture of teen dating has evolved, has the age at which it starts changed, and when exactly is the best time? The Great Debate There’s a stark difference between early daters and those who wait until they’re old enough for a learner’s permit.What the research says On average, kids begin group dating at 12-and-a-half for girls and 13-and-a-half for boys, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Boys and girls who start dating between the ages of 11-and-a-half and 13 may experience more academic and behavioral problems than their peers, according to a study published in the Journal of Adolescence.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.
It’s worth noting that plenty of teens aren’t just dating, they’re already having sex: A CDC study found that about 43 percent of teenage girls and 42 percent of teenage boys had had sexual intercourse at least once.