We have to be careful not to push teens into dating, especially younger teens who are still in middle school.Studies show that the earlier teens start dating and having relationships, the sooner sexual activity takes place."A 12-year-old who looks 16 isn’t ready to date someone who is 16," Anthony says.You may not love the idea of your child beginning to date, but don't try to pretend it’s not happening.
And be sure to set ground rules: no friends over when adults aren’t home, check in when they go out to let you know where they’ll be and who they’re with, etc.
We have to be willing to talk and listen, and ask direct questions like, “What’s going on physically with you two?
” Hopefully our teens will tell us when they are considering sexual activity.
“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.