Being a parent means committing to guide your child through many complicated and difficult stages of life.You go from changing their diapers, to teaching them how to tie their shoes, to eventually helping them understand dating and love.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.
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.
If you want your child to understand your expectations and rules about dating, you need to express them.
Don’t let your child learn about dating from their friends or the media.
When you’ve made a decision, be clear with your child about your expectations.
Explain if and how you want your child to check in with you while they’re out, what you consider acceptable and appropriate behavior, and curfew. We may use terms like “puppy love” and “crush” to describe teenage romances, but it’s very real to them.Groups play a big role in relaying information about who likes whom.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.The preteen and teen years aren’t easy on you or your child.As hormones fly, you can expect to deal with your fair share of conflict.You can also consider what other parents are doing.