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Parents may joke that it’s an experience they want their child to have -- just not until somewhere around the age of 30. A 6th grade girl may say, "Jacob is my boyfriend," but what does that mean?
Seriously, though, when is your child ready to date? "At this age, kids use dating labels but aren’t ready to have much direct one-on-one interaction beyond maybe sitting together at lunch or recess," says Dale Atkins, Ph D, a family therapist in New York.
"Parents can be so uncomfortable with the idea of their kid becoming more grown up -- we wish our kids could stay kids," Atkins says.
You may not love the idea of your child beginning to date, but don't try to pretend it’s not happening.
Talk to your teen about what a good relationship is.
While you may think your teen already knows how to date, they probably don’t.
When it comes time to meet your teen’s date, be kind and respectful.
While you may want to give a lecture on the rules; their date is not the one you should be talking to.