When Should Your Child Start Dating?

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As a parent, this probably is the most difficult decision to make. What do you do when your 12 year old mentions a special someone to you. It may be confusing and scary. It’s only natural, drawing on the instinct to protect. Amid all this confusion a single question stands. When is it right to let your child date?

Courtesy : Real Simple

The right age to date

Now this question is quite a relative one. To be honest, there is no set answer for this. Why? Because it depends on the person in question. Some children are mature right from their teen years, while others have a long way to go even at 25. So yes, to be honest, it’s relative.

Courtesy: LiveAbout

American Academy of Pediatrics found that young girls begin dating by an age as young as 12 while boys join the game a year or two later. Now from one person to another, this is not the ‘sleepless in seattle‘ type of romance. It’s rather a more ‘you’re nice, I like you. Let’s have lunch together kind of stuff. Children don’t usually jump right in to mature romantic relationships. It takes them a few years of sexual maturity and a list of other relationships for them to find out what dating actually is.

How to best help your child with dating

Speaking of dating in it’s truest sense, it is honestly a game of sexuality. Given the sex-education and awareness in schools nowadays, at least ‘The Talk’ is not as awkward as it used to be. Having a hands-free and supportive attitude when your child hits sexual maturity will ensure that they take your advice seriously. Given the raging hormonal fluctuations, it is very common for children this age to experience what we call ‘crushes’ or ‘puppy love’. Just remember, let it flow, don’t be scared and trust your child to make the right decision. It’s not dangerous to love or be sexually active.

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From personal experience, having a non-judgmental parental figure teen years is extremely important. This is because, teenage is the time where children begin to develop as individuals. They are sensitive, volatile, agitated and very much in need of a calm guide. The next time your child mentions a special someone to you, try to hear them out. You may understand their psychology towards dating this way and be better able to be the guiding force they need.

When is your child ready to date?

To know if your child is ready to date, it’s simple; just try asking them how things are going on. If the reaction is violent and defensive, then their probably not ready to date. If it’s vice versa, congrats! Your kid is all set for his first date.


In the end, knowing the right age to let your child date, is a matter of relativity. It depends on how mature your child is, if they have a good emotional quotient and if they’re aware of what sexuality is in reality. In the end, we don’t choose the people we love, in fact, we don’t even choose at what age we fall in love.

Courtesy: parentingteensandtweens.com

It’s something that happens spontaneously. All you can do as a parent is let go and let it be, your child will be well able to take care of himself/herself. Trust that they can handle it and be there as a non-judgmental supporter in their time of need. Doing so will help you raise confident and strong children who believe in the decisions they make independently.

Featured image courtesy: lifehack.org

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