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2 Bumps


So, my 12 yr old son just confessed to having a crush on the daughter of a friend of mine. Said daughter has had a crush on him since before he realized girls weren't just boys with long hair. lol Because of her crush, I've made sure that they are always within eye sight when together.

So, now that he confessed this, he suddenly asks when he'll be allowed to date. Now, to be fair, I had not yet given a ton of thought to when I would allow him to date - his interest in girls hadn't seemed very strong, and regardless, I knew that at any rate, he wouldn't be dating at 12 or 13.

When he asked, I thought for a brief moment, and said that although I couldn't say for sure, it would probably be about 16. Note that I said probably, and I made sure he noted that. I explained that I haven't done a ton of thinking on this, and that his maturity level and other things may change that, in either direction.

He claims that others are allowed to date at 14, and thinks I'm not too fair. I think I'm not the other kids mother and can't control what they do. At the same time, I also don't want him to really be the oddball ifi am being unreasonable.

So, what is your opinion? Is 16 a reasonable age to start dating? Or am I being unfair and making him wait way longer than typical? (and again, he is only 12!)

Answer Question

Asked by wendythewriter at 3:55 PM on May. 9, 2013 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 33 (61,976 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • Yes, I think that's fair. I wouldn't really want my child out and about until at least that age, depending on their maturity.

    Answer by m-avi at 4:04 PM on May. 9, 2013

  • honestly thats not a battle im willing to fight.. Kids are going to "date" in school no matter what age limit we give them. I dated at 13.
    I would allow him to. Just let him know the rules. I wouldnt let them go anywhere alone. they have to sit in the living room while in the house together.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:17 PM on May. 9, 2013

  • Actually, dating is for the purpose of selecting a marriage partner, so the correct answer is when he is mature enough to marry and settle down. If you think he's ready for that at 16, then I guess that's the correct age. Our children had friends of both sexes all during their teens, but they entertained them at our house or at the homes of other parents whom we knew were as watchful as we were. It worked out really well for our family, and the youngest to marry was 24.

    Answer by NannyB. at 4:30 PM on May. 9, 2013

  • you can't stop them from dating, but you CAN keep an eye on them and make sure they hang out in groups rather than alone and that sort of thing.

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 4:34 PM on May. 9, 2013

  • I think it's fair. I started dating when I was 13 but that was my parents letting me do that. My kids can wait till they are 16.

    Answer by LostSoul88 at 4:47 PM on May. 9, 2013

  • It sounds like you are distinguishing between liking somebody & actually dating somebody, right? As in, he could have "a girlfriend" who he likes & who likes him, but not be "allowed to date."
    It sounds like the anonymous poster above is conceptualizing "dating" at a younger age in a context in which it's having a girlfriend or a girl you like & seeing her in monitored situations, which might be what you're ALREADY considering him doing until "dating" age. I didn't assume from your post that your response to him was supposed to forbid liking a girl or being able to spend time with a girl he likes until age 16! Just specifically going out together on dates.
    I think the "you can't stop them" or "they'll do it anyway" refers to having feelings for people & making those feelings known (being each other's boyfriend/girlfriend.) It sounds like you are cool with them liking & seeing each other, & he can go on dates later on.

    Answer by girlwithC at 5:28 PM on May. 9, 2013

  • Yes, let me clarify that what we were referring to as dating is going out somewhere. I know he'll like someone, and I remember the whole going out thing - that's not what I'm attaching the age to. I know they do that, I did that. When we were talking about dating, it was meant in the "going out to a movie/dinner/mini golf, possibly a kiss good night" kind of stuff.

    I know the girl very well, as well as I know my boy, in fact, as I've been friends with her mother since high school. If they want to hang out as they always have and call each other boyfriend/girlfriend - well, it won't thrill me, but that's more my own issue with letting go and I won't interfere. My friend and I always supervise them closely, especially since we know her daughter is a bit boy-crazy. My younger son is also always hanging around them, and he would not hesitate to call them out if they did anything they shouldn't. lol

    Comment by wendythewriter (original poster) at 5:43 PM on May. 9, 2013

  • I didn't really think 16 was all that unreasonable, especially since I remember thinking the same thing about my parents as my son is about me right now. I just needed to hear it from other mothers, I guess. lol

    I've told him, too, that there are some things (such as dating) that you have to prove you are responsible and mature enough to handle. He seems to be more understanding now, a couple of hours later, and has acknowledged that he really shouldn't be upset with me right now, because he already knew that he certainly wasn't going to be allowed to date right now.

    Thank you for your answers, ladies!

    Comment by wendythewriter (original poster) at 5:45 PM on May. 9, 2013

  • I think sixteen is reasonable, except maybe for group dates where a bunch of friends get together and go to a movie or a dance or the like. Dating puts a lot of pressure on kids, even if they are itching to do it, and many of them aren't ready for what they'll face till they've got some maturity under their belts.

    Answer by Ballad at 5:46 PM on May. 9, 2013

  • I don't think going out in groups is necessarily a safe thing either...I remember too well what we were doing when we went out in groups at 11 on.(my mother was not very into supervision lol). And those things are stuff that I would NOT want my child doing....

    I agree 16 isn't too late,

    Answer by tntmom1027 at 5:56 PM on May. 9, 2013

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