“Among adults or older adolescents or young adults, dating is actually a really good thing,” explains Orpinas, “because you’re more stable, happier, and less likely to do drugs.” But the earlier you start, the more likely the opposite results.“Risk-taking behaviors in adolescents cluster,” says Lynn Ponton, professor of psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco, and the author of The Sex Lives of Teenagers: Revealing the Secret World of Adolescent Boys and Girls.
And early-onset dating is an important clue as to whether your child might be a high-risk taker, particularly if it is accompanied by poor grade performance.
They were laughing about another friend who was “dating” a girl. It got me wondering what exactly “dating” means to middle schoolers, and whether it’s a good idea at that age.
As many parents know, adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 can be the most perplexing and frustrating humans on the planet.
“Some kids never or hardly ever dated; some kids did not date during middle school and started dating during high school.
Others dated all the time—or at least that’s what they reported.
I’m using the words “child” and “dating” in the same sentence and it’s freaking some of you out. They vacillate between the pull of both worlds, sometimes wanting to stay home and play with their toys and other times eager to announce a coveted relationship status on their Instagram bios.
Making the situation more complex is that we’re talking about a term without a universal definition. Maybe you envision kids skipping class to fool around in the woods.
Teen romance may have been dissected a million ways by popular culture, but that dubious analysis pales in comparison to a recent study that followed the arc of teen dating from grades 6 to 12.
“We see four trajectories,” says Pamela Orpinas, a professor of behavioral research at the University of Georgia and the lead author of the study, which included 600 students.
- What if my child gets a bad reputation for dating early?
- What if this is just the first of many steps my child is taking in the opposite direction from me? One of the biggest complexities of dating in middle school is that these are still kids we’re talking about; however, they’re kids caught between two worlds - not little children anymore, but not yet teenagers.
And others reported dating all the time in sixth grade, and then decreased, and then increased again.”And the significance of these trajectories?