In fact, changes in an adolescent’s brain around puberty may contribute to an adolescent's seeking out romantic relationships and expanding them into sexual relationships, says B. Casey, Ph D, director of Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology. Adolescents don’t see dating that way, says Casey Corcoran, program director for Children & Youth at Futures Without Violence. The spectrum of informal to formal relationships is wide,” Corcoran says.“Young people don’t have a lot of experience with relationships.
discernment in dating - Middle school dating advice for guys
Recently I was driving my 14-year-old son and his friends to soccer practice.
In the backseat they were chattering away, and in the front seat, I was the proverbial fly on the wall. “Yeah, they have been hooking up for a while.” Dating? I wondered how they could be talking about these things when they couldn’t even drive a car or pay for the movies.
Lead researcher Pamela Orinpas says that the study also found that these early daters were twice as likely to have consumed alcohol, smoked cigarettes, and used marijuana in middle school and high school, all risky behaviors. One of the biggest take-home messages from the study, Orinpas says, is that kids don’t have to be dating at that age.
On the other hand, students who never or hardly ever dated consistently had the best study skills and demonstrated the least risky behavior. “They feel pressure to date—that’s the cool thing to do,” she says.
So it’s important to let your child know that digital devices and social networking access are privileges that they need to respect, and to be clear about your expectations for behavior on the Internet and with texting.
Here, parents are a critical factor, says Greenberg: “Parents need to know that they should monitor their kid’s activities and their activity on the Internet.
One reason that adolescence is such a complicated time is because the brain is still changing. And most teens overwhelmingly prefer the company of their friends over their parents.
So coupling an adolescent’s risk-taking with his love for reward plus the innate need to establish his own sexual identity can mean that previously innocuous behavior can lead, if unchecked, to high-risk activities. While most people think of dating as getting in the car, picking someone up, and taking them to the movies or dinner, that’s an adult’s definition.
“It needs to be an ongoing regular conversation.” Guide, don’t control.
The key is to guide, not control, your children in appropriate ways to interact with other kids, says Patricia Nan Anderson, Ed D, educational psychologist and author of Parenting: A Field Guide.
Finally, always remember to set aside time to spend with your children, even if they don’t seem to want to spend it with you.