Instead, if they answer your questions or seem eager to date, you can steer the conversation toward reassuring them that these feelings are normal. Are they just trying to keep up with their friends?
Counselor Heidi Mc Bain tells if your child has a solid sense of herself, good time-management skills, is doing well at school and in her activities, is trustworthy (i.e., she is where she says she will be/calls when she says she will/comes home before curfew, etc.) and is emotionally mature in that she can handle positive and negative feelings in a healthy way, these are all signs she is mature enough to date.
Psychotherapist Kelley Kitley suggests that, bearing in mind each child's maturity level, middle school is a good time for kids to start dating if they are showing a natural interest in someone else.
“Of course it will probably be uncomfortable for both of you,” Anthony says.
“But if he’s so uncomfortable that he gets angry or shuts down or otherwise just can’t continue the conversation, that’s a big sign that he’s not ready for this.” If so, assure your child that there’s no hurry to start dating.
So, your kid wants to make it official with their crush. It may come as a disappointment to parents that there are no rules here.
This probably makes you want to 1.) bury your head in the sand or 2.) lock them in their bedroom until they're 21. Whether your child is "old enough" should be determined by your child.
However, Miller finds that, at that age, the word dating means very different things to different people.
Middle-schooler Giovanni, said, "Some people just hang out with their boyfriend or girlfriend. But some people get sexual about it."Statistics show that 46 percent of teens between the ages of 15-19 have had sex at least once.
She says those views aren't what they used to be regarding the appropriate age to begin to date."I think it doesn't really matter about age too much, if you feel like a relationship could mean something to you," said Jane, 14.