What age is good to start dating

The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that on average, girls begin dating as early as 12 and a half years old, and boys a year older. You may be surprised to hear dating labels like “boyfriend,” “girlfriend,” and “together” from the lips of your sixth-grader.

At this age, it probably means your son or daughter is sitting next to a special someone at lunch or hanging out at recess.

Many moms say that the dating issue is likely to come up for the first time during the tween years, and that it can make a parent surprisingly anxious.

But moms who've already been through this stage say it needn't be cause for stress; the key is to figure out whether your particular child is truly ready to begin dating. Nichole N., a mom of five, spaning from age 6 to 25, believes that it "depends on the maturity of the child." And Angie B.

For eighth-graders, dating likely means lots of time spent talking on the phone and hanging out in groups.

Some kids may have progressed to hand holding as well.

The preteen and teen years aren’t easy on you or your child.In high school, strong romantic attachments can be formed and things can get serious, fast.When your child mentions dating or a girlfriend or boyfriend, try to get an idea of what those concepts mean to them.Then tell them, “Just three more years, and you can date.” Just kidding -- sort of.Circle of Moms member Lynn W., whose sixth grade son is among the youngest in his class, worries that some of his friends already have girlfriends.

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