At what age will you allow your child to date? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 76 Old 06-24-2005, 03:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was watching sports kids moms & dads, there was a mom on there who wouldn't allow her 15 year old to date. She asked her to come up with one good reason why she wanted to and she couldn't think of anything. It made me wonder, at what age would you let your child start dating? Would you require they be chaperoned or not? I think I'll probably be like that overprotective mama and make her wait until she's 18 to date :LOL but I don't want to be too strict or overbearing because she'll eventually go off to college and really go wild I guess I'll find a compromise somewhere but my knee jerk reaction is to say no until she's 18 lol.
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#2 of 76 Old 06-24-2005, 03:45 AM
 
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I started dating right after I turned 17 (my first boyfriend is now my dh, LOL). My parents never had any set rules, that is just the way it happened. I still had a curfew(even when I was 18 and engaged!) and they strongly encouraged chaperones (which we had most of the time cause we were in a group setting alot). That's just the way it worked out and I never thought it was unfair. I'll have to say we'll see when we get there but I dont like the young middle school dating thing personally.

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#3 of 76 Old 06-24-2005, 03:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I started dating when I was 14, I asked and was told I could *never* date period. So I started sneaking out my window and did it anyway. I was a very promiscous teen, I'm lucky I didn't wind up pregnant or with an std because I never used protection. I just don't want that to happen to my daughter. I know it would be different because I would actually educate and talk to her about sex, something I never got. But I knew girls my age who did get that and guys talked them into doing it or they just wanted to fit in or whatever.
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#4 of 76 Old 06-24-2005, 03:58 AM
 
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My dh and I have talked about this one. For a group outing 13 or 14. Actual dating alone with a boy probably 16. I supose it depends where they are going but that is pretty much what we have decided on.
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#5 of 76 Old 06-24-2005, 04:15 AM
 
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I don't have a set age. It depends on my DD and the situation and how mature she is. I never saw the point in telling someone that they couldn't date until they're X age, everyone that I ever knew who wasn't allowed to date did it anyway.
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#6 of 76 Old 06-24-2005, 04:58 AM
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I would let my daughter start dating whenever she showed an interest in it but I would discuss with her about what dating means and she and I would come up with activities for the dates that are appropriate for her age. For example, if she was 10, then kids go on "dates" at that age meaning they meet up as a group at the public pool with their moms hanging out together off to the side. At age 12, maybe they sit together at school lunch. At age 14, maybe they meet up for a PG movie while mom and dad shop. By age 16, maybe they go to a dance together and dad picks them up afterward. Possibly age 17, able to drive on a date with her boyfriend. It all dependso on the boy, the activity, the maturity and responsibility. The key is having a good relationship and being open and honest. My parents tried to put strict limits on me for my own safety and I found ways to sneak around behind their back. I was too afraid of pregnancy to be promiscuous but I was practically an alcoholic by age 18. I never want my child to have to go through that. I will never make arbirtrary rules for her. We will always work on that together, as a team. (with dh of course )
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#7 of 76 Old 06-24-2005, 07:20 AM
 
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We've discussed this and think 16 for a one-on-one car date. We're very open about sexuality and can just hope our kids will make the right choices at that time.

They're open to go anywhere with anyone right now, as long as it's in a supervised place.

FWIW, going out on "dates" doesn't start up the worries about what they're doing with the opposite sex. I had more sexual experiences with neighborhood "friends" than I did when I actually started dating.
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#8 of 76 Old 06-24-2005, 08:17 AM
 
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I don't have a set age--for dd or my boys. I'll let them decide when they're ready.

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#9 of 76 Old 06-24-2005, 09:26 AM
 
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I have never believed in setting artificial age limits. I've seen 21 yr olds that cant handle liquor while some 16 yo's can drink responsibly. As for dating I think every child is different and matures at different points in life. My daughters both have friends that are not allowed to date, and a few of these friends are sneaking out and being irresponsible with sex. Where there's a will there's a way, so open communication, trust, and building self esteem as children grow up will hopefully enable them to make responsible decisions when the hormone stages kick in. The key is not what age to allow them to date, the key is to have a strong bond with them so that you can help them make good decisions as they mature. BTW, both my daughters started dating around 14.
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#10 of 76 Old 06-24-2005, 11:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coffee Mom
Where there's a will there's a way, so open communication, trust, and building self esteem as children grow up will hopefully enable them to make responsible decisions when the hormone stages kick in. The key is not what age to allow them to date, the key is to have a strong bond with them so that you can help them make good decisions as they mature.
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Well said, Coffee Mom.
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#11 of 76 Old 06-24-2005, 11:33 AM
 
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I'd like to say 18. :LOL I've been thinking about this a lot lately. My daughter is 12 and doesn't understand why I won't let her date now. It really depends on the child though, yet I don't think it's fair to let one child date at 16 and then another not until they are 18. I guess maybe when they are able to drive. If they are mature enough for that, then they should be mature enough to date and deal with everything that comes with it. One thing I know for sure, they will ONLY be allowed to date people in their own age group. Dating older men/women is trouble. BTDT and will NEVER allow my children to do the same.

I forgot to mention that I think group "dating" is a little different and I'd allow that at a younger age.
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#12 of 76 Old 06-24-2005, 11:48 AM
 
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We are planning to let our dds date by the time they are 35 or so. :LOL
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#13 of 76 Old 06-24-2005, 11:51 AM
 
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I think dating should be something you work your way into. In 7th grade I was "dating" a boy. All that entaled was me sitting next to him on the bus. Middle schoolers define dating a lot different than parents would. For me I started off in middle school going to chaperoned school dances with a group of girls and maybe after wards we would sit outside the school and chit chat until our parents picked us up. Then maybe like 8th and 9th grade go with a group of mixed friends to a movie or bowling. Also encourage your child to bring friends over, male or female. This will let you see how they interact and give you some insight. For me it would have been a shock to go on an official date alone when I was 18 then say when I was 16 or 17 and had already done group activities with the boy and a group of friends. Its a lot easier with a group incase something with the boy doesn't go exactly as planned, this way there are other people to socialize with.
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#14 of 76 Old 06-24-2005, 12:20 PM
 
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Dating is a term that can mean a few different things IMO. In the younger years I think "dating" often means things like Starr mentioned above, sitting near someone on the bus or at school & eating lunch together. In older teen years it can mean the actual act of going on a date (going somewhere together...movies, dinner, bowling, party), and it can refer to a relationship with someone. Like "We've been dating for a year now." etc

I don't think there is a set in stone age. Maturity comes at different times for different kids. My kids have said that going out with a group would be a first step for them likely, whenever that comes around. My son is about 14, and though he is interested in girls, he hasn't dated anyone yet. For us it's a pretty flexible "wait and see what develops" kind of thing. We do discuss dating, and relationships often right now though...just because at their ages it looks more and more relevant.

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#15 of 76 Old 06-24-2005, 12:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by EFmom
We are planning to let our dds date by the time they are 35 or so. :LOL
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#16 of 76 Old 06-24-2005, 12:54 PM
 
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I think I'll drop my son and a little girlfriend (or boyfriend, I don't mean to assume) off at the movies or something like that around 13-14 depending on how mature he is. My mom did this with me but chaperoned...I don't feel the need to chaperone at a public place- it's not like they'll be having sex while watching Star Wars :LOL

As far as real "dating"- staying out til midnight, going where he wants- well as soon as he can drive (16) he can do that...

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#17 of 76 Old 06-24-2005, 04:26 PM
 
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#18 of 76 Old 06-24-2005, 04:52 PM
 
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My daughter started group dating at 14. A group of about 15 kids would go to movies or hang out at the mall, but one special boy was her boyfriend. As time went on, she was allowed to date this boy one on one - they would go to movies or spend the evening at our house or his. This relationship lasted 8 months. She is now 16, and can go out on car dates as she likes. My son is 15, and has not wanted to date anyone yet.

Our only hard and fast dating rule is that we must meet anyone either of our children chooses to date.
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#19 of 76 Old 06-24-2005, 05:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coffee Mom
Where there's a will there's a way, so open communication, trust, and building self esteem as children grow up will hopefully enable them to make responsible decisions when the hormone stages kick in. The key is not what age to allow them to date, the key is to have a strong bond with them so that you can help them make good decisions as they mature. BTW, both my daughters started dating around 14.
ITA! I saw this so much in my own life. I always had a boyfriend. I needed the male attention and approval that I lacked at home. I was by no means sleeping around, but I always had that boy that I sat by on the bus and held hands with between classes.

I think that a strong bond between parent and child is critical. If the bond is strong then they will trust you as you try to guide them through the pitfalls of adolescence.

I want my kids to "date" for the right reasons....not to replace the love that they are missing out on at home.

We already have "dates" with mom and dad for the kids. Dh or I will take the kids out one on one and have fun with them and give them personal attention and let them know how much we love them.

My kids are still to young to "date", but I'm praying that they don't feel the desire or need to date until late into their teenage years. :
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#20 of 76 Old 06-24-2005, 08:53 PM
 
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My DD at 13 has had a few boyfriends here and there, and it has never amounted to much more than a little hand hold, a slow dance or two at school dances, and the most recent boyfriend a few months ago was a hug here and there. And I don't think many of them have lasted more than 2 weeks.

I'm not to worried about her, we keep the lines of communication open, and I'm just waiting to see how it will play out. She is going into high school next year and she needs the space to learn to become a woman as well. If I have done my job thus far right, then I have taught her well, and she will know to be responsible!!! Not that I will permit her to check into the closest motel with the first boy she meets in high school (I do have some bounderies) lol but I think it is good for her to take the love she has grown up learning from us, and spread it wisely in the world
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#21 of 76 Old 06-24-2005, 09:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveChild421
I think I'll drop my son and a little girlfriend (or boyfriend, I don't mean to assume) off at the movies or something like that around 13-14 depending on how mature he is. My mom did this with me but chaperoned...I don't feel the need to chaperone at a public place- it's not like they'll be having sex while watching Star Wars :LOL


My family did this with me as well, but I'll tell you something. At 15-16, I was 'dating' this guy, (I say 'dating', but looking back we had nothing in commen but sex : ), and his father or my uncle would drop us off at the movie, and would come pick us up when it was over. However, we got the 'smart' idea to leave the theatre pretty early into the movie, and well, go behind the theatre and have sex behind some trees...lol

Yes, yes, an embarrassing piece of infromation there, but another pieve of evidence that 'where there's a will, there's a way'....

I don't know what I'll do with my kids. I intend to play it by ear. I really do think it's kinda silly to say 'I'll do this at this age, and that at that age', it's kinda like a cookie-cutter 'rule' for children who aren't shaped the same way... If that makes any sense..

I really just intend to allow my children to do what feels comfortable, when it feels comfortable. Depending on their personalities, their maturity, as well at the people they wish to date...
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#22 of 76 Old 06-25-2005, 04:05 AM
 
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Growing up I was told 16. It never came up. My first bf was after I went to college and I met him just after I turned 18. He's sitting behind me now, nearly 7 years later :LOL

Judging by the younger teens I've seen dating, 16 is a reasonable age for "real" dating, e.g. couple going to the movies.
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#23 of 76 Old 06-25-2005, 07:34 AM
 
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Growing up I was told 16. It never came up. My first bf was after I went to college and I met him just after I turned 18. He's sitting behind me now, nearly 7 years later :LOL
its good to hear that. :LOL
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#24 of 76 Old 06-25-2005, 01:12 PM
 
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Well if daddy has his way dd won't be dating until she's married :LOL :LOL Honestly though I consider "dating" to be more one on one then group activities. I don't think I'll have a problem with her getting together with a group of friends (boyfriends/girlfriends) when she's around 14-15, but I don't really consider that "dating". So most likely when she has her drivers license or her boyfriend does (and no I won't be letting my dd go on alone dates with a 16 yr old if she is only 14, but I guess that's a different subject all together) And the same will go for my boys(no double standards around here ) I don't really think alone dating is healthy(or necessary for that matter) for younger teenagers(meaning 13-15 yr olds) but group activities are good for them to sort of test the waters and start to figure out the whole thing.

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#25 of 76 Old 07-07-2005, 02:58 AM
 
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I don't think I'd like my daughter to go on a one-on-one CAR date, until she can do so in her own car.

I think SHE being the one driving, and it being her car, will help her to have more confidence, and not feel dependant on the date. She doesn't like what's happening? She can kick him out. She wants to go home? She can just go home.
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#26 of 76 Old 07-07-2005, 03:01 AM
 
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but another pieve of evidence that 'where there's a will, there's a way'...
Preventing sexual activity isn't nearly as important, imo, as keeping them Safe.

You're right; where there's a will, there's a way. If the kids want to have sex, they're going to have sex.

I'm not going to make decisions based on stopping sex.
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#27 of 76 Old 07-07-2005, 01:42 PM
 
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I gues we have a whole different philosphy pon dating. Our family doesn't believe in casual dating for dating purposes. So as a general rule we don't allow dating. h owever I see nothign wrong with having friends who are boys and we have worked hard (and so far sucedded) in fighting that you can only be friends with boys if they are boyfriends. So right now boys are nothing special and I don't se her desiring time alone with them for no particular reason any time soon.

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#28 of 76 Old 07-08-2005, 05:25 PM
 
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Whenever they are ready. They will decide.

Many good points have been brought up here, the big one for me is open communication

Also, as many said - whether you let something or don't let something is of little importance.

If a teen or even pre-teen feels "in love" they are going to feel it whether we parents like it or not.

If they are afraid to openly talk about their feelings with us, they may:

bottle up their emotions and never dare to do anything they feel we as parents will not approve of (even if it's jsut holding hands)

OR

being not sure how to handle their emotions, swing too far and do something they will regret later

OR

the above PLUS hide the fellings and the deeds from the parents

OR

the above PLUS feel guilty for doing all of the above yet not able to figure out what to do about it

I would love for my kids to openly discuss those and would offer my advice, based on solid explanation. However I will not be letting or not letting them date.

Having said all that I actually would like for my son to start dating (he is going to be 18 next month).

He is a handsome young man, very smart, gentle and responsible. He is just "looking for the right one" (his words) Any takers? :LOL

For my daughter the talking and communication part will be just of as much importance. I will relate my personal story to her as soon as she is of age to understand it (posting it will make my already long post even longer)
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#29 of 76 Old 07-08-2005, 07:18 PM
 
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I met and started "dating" Rory (my dh) at age 13...ten years ago. I guess we started going on group type dates at that point and weren't allowed alone together in a room until we were about 17ish...but we went on family trips together and had to sleep in seperate rooms before that. we went out alone together when we could drive.

the answer to the question? i have no freaking clue! It will be really dependant on Parker's maturity and the maturity of her boy/girlfriend.
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#30 of 76 Old 07-14-2005, 10:20 AM
 
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NEVER! seriously, its not as much in our control anymore i dont think. my son doesnt go on "dates" (where i go pick up his girlfriend and they go to a movie) but a bunch of kids go to the movies, etc. and the gf's are there. thats the way it works right now and i cant really stop anyone else going to the movies when my ds is there. as for when i will allow him to "go out" to a movie, etc., i guess i am waiting to see when he asks me. of course, b/c he is so embarassed by me (thats my pregnant mom...OMG....and my little brother...dont they look sooo dorky!!!), i dont see it happening soon. of course he is usually nicer than that when he wants something from me.
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