Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The best age to start dating

The other night at dinner my son asked me to tell him a story. So I told him about how one day he would be a teenager and how he would be moody all the time, and hair would sprout on his face and that he would want to have a girlfriend. He treated the tale like it was a horror story, because in his words "girls are DISGUSTING!"

But the fact remains that he will one day be a teenager and want to date. My husband and I haven't had the discussion of when he will be allowed to date yet, but I am sure that it will not be in middle school.

Researchers from the University of Georgia followed a select group of students that ranged from sixth through twelfth grades. Each year the students were asked questions about their personal lives and that information was compared against their academic performance for the year.

In results that will probably surprise no one, students who were dating in middle school had significantly poor study skills. But what may be surprising is that students who dated earlier in life had an increased risk of drug use and were more likely to drop out of high school than those who waited to date.

All of this brings up a good question for me to ask parents of tweens: At what age will you allow your child to start dating? (I know that individual answers depend on the child, but tell me in the comments what your rule of thumb is.)

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