While there may be the occasional romantic twosome among the members, the majority are unattached.If anything, youngsters in the group spend as much time interacting with their same-sex friends as they do with members of the opposite sex. Ron Eagar, a pediatrician at Denver Health Medical Center, views group dating as a healthy way for adolescents to ease into the dating pool rather than dive in.At what age are children old enough to date “solo”? “There’s an enormous difference between a fourteen- or fifteen-year- old and a sixteen- or seventeen-year-old in terms of life experience,” he says. While parent-teen conversations must encompass the hormones, hydraulics and other biological aspects of love and attraction, equal time should be devoted to thoughtful discussions about love as the most powerful and heartfelt of all human emotions.
Acknowledge your teen’s pain but assure her that she will be happy again.
“I understand how upset you are, and I know you may feel like your sadness is never going to go away.
”) and, if applicable, divorce (“Dad, how can two people love each other for years and years, then stop being in love? Having an imperfect romantic résumé yourself does not disqualify you from initiating this conversation.
You might say, “I haven’t always made the wisest decisions when it comes to love, but I’ve promised myself that the next time I become involved with someone special, I won’t settle for anything less than a healthy, honest relationship.
Dating customs have changed since you were a teenager.
The most striking difference is the young age at which children now begin dating: on average, twelve and a half for girls, and thirteen and a half for boys.
If you see schoolwork start to suffer and friendships fall by the wayside, it is reasonable to restrict the number of times Romeo and Juliet can rendezvous during the school week.
High-school romances tend to have limited life spans.
“The number-one benefit is safety,” says the father of two grown children.
Going out in mixed groups also gives boys and girls an opportunity to just enjoy one another’s company, without the awkwardness and sexual tension that can intrude upon a one-to-one date. Many of us feel that way when we imagine our son or daughter disappearing into the night arm in arm with a young lady or a young man. Eagar advises not allowing single dating before age sixteen.