02 March 2011

When Should Children Start Dating? Thoughts From Dr. Ray

When do you think children should date? How young is too young? Dr. Guarandi writes with his usual good humor and insight on the subject in a column which can be read at Fathers for Good. Here is an excerpt.

your peers, the parents of your children’s friends. They will say:

“These are different times. This is not when you and I were growing up. These kids grow up so much faster nowadays. You can’t protect them forever. You can’t wrap a moral bubble around them. They have to deal with life. If you make kids too different, they’ll feel like weirdos who don’t fit in. Then they’ll get resentful and rebellious.”

Let me share with you a rule. A recent survey suggested that if a child has a first date between the ages of 11 and 13, he or she has a 90% probability of being sexually active during senior year in high school. First date at age 14 leads to a 50% chance; first date at age 16, 20% chance.

What chance would you prefer? What chance is much of society taking?

Key factors to consider in granting any type of dating freedom are your child’s:

• moral maturity
• independence of thought
• history of conduct in other social settings
• strength of will
• social judgment
• choice of friends
• responsibility toward schoolwork
• respect for authority.

I figure if I make the list long enough, my kids won’t be eligible to date until they move out.

Once you are confident your son or daughter has met these standards, sit them down, let them know how much you admire who they are and who they’re becoming. Then tell them, “Just three more years, and you can date.”

Just kidding – sort of.

Dr. Guarendi is a family psychologist, radio host and author. He can be reached through his website, http://www.drray.com/


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the advice!

Anonymous said...

Haha I have to tell my parents that!

Cavaliere said...

Ha Ha. I think they already know!

Anonymous said...


Double Your Dating said...
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