What is the best teen dating age?

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Answered by: Katrina, An Expert in the Dating for Teenagers Category
There comes a time in every parent's life when they have to ask the question, "What age should I allow my teen to start dating?" That is not a very simple question to answer. Maturity should be used as one of the best determining factors for determining the best dating age. Some teenagers mature slower than others, while that isn't necessarily a bad thing, they should be mature enough to handle dating seriously. Dating comes with a lot of responsibilities, your teenager will be forced with difficult decisions that sometimes tests his/her morals. Due to that, your teen should be a well-grounded individual before they even start dating. Issues of sex, cheating, and heartbreak all come along with dating. Your teenager should be strong enough to stand by their morals and handle heartbreak in a productive way.

Another issue you should be concerned about is teen dating violence. There is a major increase in abuse of teen partners. Due to this, you should always meet the person that your child is "seeing", know exactly where they are going, and when they will be back. You know your teenager best so if something don't seem right to you then it is definitely worth checking into. For younger teens, around 13 to 15, group dates might be a reliable way to let your child go out and spend time with that guy she's been talking about. Just make sure to know who all the friends are in the group. Chaperone dates are also a good alternative for teen dating during the younger years. You will then get to know what they are doing and when the date is over.

For older teens, 16 and 17, that are mature enough to handle responsible dating, they can be allowed to go on individual two person dates. Don't feel bad if you find the urge to check up on what they are doing. All parents go through it. Teenagers are now starting to find themselves at this age, dating is a chance to find out exactly what they want or do not want in their life partner. So don't feel bad if they start spending a little too much time out of the house. If something feels wrong though, remember it is perfectly fine to bring it to your teens attention.

In conclusion, there is no exact right or wrong age for your teen to start dating. You should pick your teenager's dating age based on many factors. Maturity is a major factor in determining that age, they should be able to handle dating topics without making jokes or laughing about it. If you decide to allow your teen to start dating young, there are many options, such as chaperone or group dates. Don't hesitate to chaperone or check in on your older teenagers too. Most importantly, regardless of their age, if something doesn't feel right about what is going on or your teenager is acting different, don't be afraid to ask them about it.

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