Post # 17
I started dating at 13-14 (8th grade, whatever that age was), but my parents actually told me I “wasn’t allowed” to date until college, so I just did it behind their backs. Just like everything in the history of humans, prohibition doesn’t work. If it were my kids, I’d sit them down and talk to them about sex early, then not worry about when they start dating.
Post # 18
@AnaA: I think my question is at what age do I want to know my teenagers are dating?! (I kid, I kid).
For me, I had ‘grade school’ boyfriends (so someone I sat next to at the movies, and held hands when we went ice skating that lasted a few weeks, etc), but I dated in a group setting and was way too embarrassed to ever let my mom know about them!! Im sure she assumed there was young boy in the crowd we hung around I had a crush on though. We only went to the mall, movies, etc at this phase with a bunch of people. At this time, cell phones did not exist, so for a boy to call my home phone would have been AWFUL!! My mom ensured she carpooled with the other ‘mom’s’, and I had a set curfew, etc.
My first ‘serious’ boyfriend came at 16 (he was 17). At this time, we wanted to go on actual dates…with us two to dinner, movies, etc. In order for that happen, I had to tell my mom about him, and she had to meet him before I ever got in his car. When he picked me up, he had to come to the door – always, and get me. I still had rules I needed to follow, and we did, which helped my mom be happy about our relationship, and trustworthy of he and I (and our hopeful responsible decision-making, which we did!!).
What my one day teenagers face will be a lot different than me. They will have more technology, more pressure, and will probably learn not so innocent behavior before I ever did. I am not even sure if 14 year-olds ‘group date’ the way I once did. I hope that I can be equal or greater of a parent than my mom, because she was pretty awesome (looking back) and what she allowed or did not, and at what age.
Ideally, my teenagers will ‘wait’ til about the same age as I to start seriously dating someone. And, that I will enforce him/her getting to know me throughout the process!!! FINGERS CROSSED!!
Post # 19
16 (maybe 15 depending on how mature I felt he/she was). Obviously I won’t have control over what goes on at school, who he/she meets up with when they are with friends (or if they are just sneaking around lol) but in terms of going out on actual dates with my permission, 16 (and we would have to meet the girl or boy first because if he/she refused to meet us, then they are shady and need to get away from my child).
Post # 20
+100! I wasn’t technically allowed to date until I was 16, but I got my first BF a few days after turning 13!
I think 14 for dating, 16 for “car dates” (as in, you must be 16 or more to get in a car alone with your SO)
Post # 21
I didn’t answer age because so much depends on the kid themselves and who they want to date. For example, I would let my 14/15 year old freshmen high schooler date other 14/15 year olds if they were mature enough (hard to judge, but there are signs) but if they were interested in a 17 year old junior or senior, I would put my foot down. At that age, they are too impressionable by older kids, and there are too many things older students can hold over a younger students head to make them do things. My high school bans freshmen and sophmores from junior/senior prom for this exact reason.
Post # 22
As someone else said… altho you might make RULES for home, they won’t necessarily be adhered to when the kids are in school.
As a Mom, I did go thru this with our own kids.
We “allowed” them to have opposite sex friends starting in about Grade 7 (12 years old) … and we went on “Dates” where we were the escorts (or the kids were otherwised Chaperoned). They were really more “Family Type Outings” than anything else… So NO House Parties, and definitely NO Co-Ed Sleepovers.
There were no complaints from the kids, they were happy to be out socializing with their “Dates” in the same way that we would often take their same sex friends on outings.
We nutured this whole dating interest thru this means… by the time they were in Grade 9 (14 years old) we allowed a bit more freedom… as in going to the movies, school dance, etc.
In Grade 11 (16 Years old) we allowed all out Dating, but we did have still a lot of rules about WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE and being reachable… as well as a CURFEW
And Dating forever took a backseat to other responsibilities (Dating was a privilege). There was no Dating events if Homework Assignments were done etc. School always came first in our house.
I think the kids understood the reasoning between dating like a horny toad and respectful dating…
We never really had too many issues with their dating, until they got to college. Then our values & theirs clashed a bit, but we all got over it / thru it.
Post # 23
@AnaA: I voted 15. Once I had my quinceñera, I was old enough to start dating and that’s when I met Fiance. Granted, my quince wasn’t just a big party, it was similar to a bat mitzvah as it was my becoming an adult in the Church. We had a full mass and everything. I feel the same way for my kids, boys or girls. Once you go through that rite, you can date.
Post # 24
I had my first boyfriend when I was 10. My mother took us on chaperoned dates sometimes, but the most we ever “did” was one time he put his arm around me for a picture. It was magical LOL!
In my opinon, if a kid decides she/he wants a bf/gf there’s not much a parent can do to stop them. I think my mom handled it well by just allowing it, keeping everything appropriate with the parental chaperoning, meeting his parents, etc. and that is likely how I am going to handle it.
Post # 25
I didn’t really vote. Growing up my parents never told me at what age I could date, and I had boyfriends almost every school year (haha!) My parents knew about it, and also knew that ‘dating’ meant playing together at recess when we were younger and slow dancing once we got to about 13-14. I started dating DH as 15, and it was a gradual thing because we were friends since age 14 and then one day it just evolved to being more than friends. Both my parents were very open minded, provided I kept them in the loop.
Looking at my 14 year old neice now, she recently went on a double date and it did freak me out a bit thinking that she is too young. But I think a lot of if depends on the individual and their maturity level as well.
Post # 26
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
Depends on how mature the child is and what the date constitutes.
Post # 27
@AnaA: I answered 15 but only in groups and in public places. Not that that would really stop someone, but telling them they can’t date at all won’t stop them either. I probably wouldn’t let them go out alone until 16 or 17 and then only if I had met their partner. I would most be more strict with the meeting them first thing if my child was dating a boy just because I worry about them getting agressive or whatever. Probably stupid, a girl could come on too strong too, but whatever.
Post # 28
I had a couple guys ask me out when I was 16 but I turned them down. DH was actually my first boyfriend, when I was 18. I didn’t date before that because I knew what I wanted in a guy and wasn’t interested in dating someone that there wasn’t a possibility of me marrying. I wish hehad come along a little sooner, but I’m very happy with when we did start dating.
I voted 16, because I think thats when kids (at least most) are mature enough to start dating. If I had a child that wanted to date at 15 I would let them, as long as I knew and somewhat liked their date, but I would prefer for them to wait until 16.
Post # 29
- Wedding: April 2012 - Chateau Briand
Would it be different for a daughter than for a son? No, my parents even as the typical old school Hispanic parents had very similar rules between my brothers and I. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
When did you start dating? 17, late bloomer here lol
Do you wish you would’ve started sooner/later? My self esteem would’ve been higher but i lost my virginity to my first boyfriend so idk that starting sooner would have been so great for me
Post # 30
Kinda up to them, don’t you think? Besides, you can put the hammer down, but they’ll find a way anyhow….don’t give them the satisfaction of creating some Romeo & Juliet style parental disapproval, its like throwing gas on a fire.
I started at 12, don’t regret a moment or man along the way, they were all lovely…I don’t think that would have worked for anyone else, and I certainly didn’t recommend it for my step-daughter…her dating experience was pretty abysmal in the early stages, she was chasing unavailable men, and I get it, her father is the strong silent type…she mistook immaturity and moodiness for depth and complexity…but she got back up and found a real keeper, the two of them are a good team.
As for my step-son….I don’t get it, but that boy gets his hands on more bumpers than a body shop…its bizarre.
Either way, I’ve always told them they have to do what works for them, and I’m a zero penalty sounding board for the trials and tribulations of love and all its snares, I have no business telling anyone what to do or not to.
Post # 31
Of course it is up to them. But I guess what I meant is that as a parent you’ll have to set rules to help them make better choices. Of course, not always have to be about age, but they usually are, hence the question 😉