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.You can also consider what other parents are doing.Are lots of kids the same as yours already dating in the true sense of the word?Start talking casually about what constitutes a healthy relationship to build the framework they’ll use when they’re reading to start dating.You probably wouldn’t believe you’d want to be dating after going through your divorce, but you catch yourself noticing some attractive prospects and hopefully catching an eye or two as they check you out, too. I was divorced in 2009, and starting to date again seemed ludicrous. When about half of married people get divorced, statistically speaking, we’re about as alone as attending a crowded and sweaty summer music festival.
Even if your son is mooning over a certain girl, most 12-year-olds aren’t really ready for the one-on-one interaction of a true relationship.
For eighth-graders, dating likely means lots of time spent texting or talking on the phone, sharing images on social media, and hanging out in groups.
Some kids may have progressed to hand-holding as well.
If your child’s grades are dropping or they aren’t spending much time with friends anymore, consider limiting how much time is being spent with that special someone. It can be a difficult conversation for everyone involved, but it’s critical to be honest and clear about the facts.
With first relationships come first breakups, and those can be painful.