Ok, Moms. Dating for girls at what age?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm curious because my daughter, who is 12 (just turned 12) had a "boyfriend" that she saw only when she went rollerblading (about once a week at our skating rink). They were not outside together. Mostly they just talked on the phone and he was a year younger than her and he came up to her shoulders...lol. He was also a year behind her in school, although the same age. This reminded me that I have a pretty young lady who likes boys and has her period.
    How old do you feel a girl should be before she can actually date? I don't want to be so strict that I encourage her to sneak out of the house--been there/done that with difficult child #1 daughter (now 24). How have you handled this? She is basically a good kid who is very social and obsessed with her sports (she plays every sport). But she is starting to really get boy crazy. Help?
     
  2. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I think we need to define "date".
     
  3. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Way back before I had kids nearing their teens, I always said, "16" - in my head.

    easy child technically did not date until around 17. She had guys who were friends and would come around the house at around 16, but no one special. She was easy on me.

    difficult child, on the other hand, had a boy who began frequenting our home at about 14.5 - it was pretty harmless. They would watch tv, listen to music, he would help me in the yard, come out with us food shopping or to a park, etc. Just before her 15th birthday, they starting acting more like a couple, holding hands, H caught them making out a couple of times. That's when we had to create some ground rules for when a boy is visiting our home - where they can hang out, curfews, acceptable PDA, etc. All the while, it was apparent that difficult child was becoming 'boy/sex crazy' by talking smack on line with some of her guy friends on IM. She and the boyfriend broke up and, shortly thereafter, she was sexually assaulted by an on line predator. (I swear I am not trying to scare you). A few months later, she started going out with one of her classmates and they eventually became sexually active just before her 16th birthday - they went out for nearly 2 years in total and we really liked him a lot. We were able to have candid discussions about sex, etc., and they were both very open about it with us. We used caution, but by that time, we felt they knew what they were doing. Well, at least until difficult child went around the bend emotionally and mentally.

    Anyway, IMVHO, 12 is waaaaaay too young to even consider encouraging a dating type of environment. Period. At 12 they should be hanging out in groups and going out for ice cream, and being social with ALL of their mutual friends. Making out and going to the movies alone together, again IMVHO, is inappropriate, no matter what the degree of or type of dating is involved. I don't even think discussing it in terms of "you're allowed to date when you reach the age of ___" is necessary. Instead just steer her towards more group like activities and do not encourage or allow her to be involved in any one-on-one situations with a boy. If she brings it up, that is a perfect opportunity to discuss why you feel dating at 12 is inappropriate without lecturing and without arguing. She's only 12 - you should not have to argue with her about dating at that age.

    Best of luck - it is not easy, I know, but hang in there.
     
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I mean alone at the movies? I wouldn't let my daughter do that now...but when?
     
  5. bby31288

    bby31288 Active Member

    Okay, here's my take on it. I have 3 girls, 13, 15 and 17. I would allow, alone at the movies at 15. But I will say, so far my 15 and my 17 have not really gone alone. They still usually go with a group of friends. My 13 year old, has friends over that include boys. They hang out swim, watch TV, no PDAs.
     
  6. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I have a 12 year old daughter, too, so I haven't really experienced this yet. My answer to going to the movies alone with a boy would be "when you can drive yourself there".

    I'm wondering about going to the movies in a group that includes boys at age 12? I agreed that my daughter could be dropped off with a group and I was surprised when boys were part of the group.
     
  7. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Our hard & fast rule is 16 for movie dates & such. We're going to make kt very uncomfortable because we are telling her already that we expect to meet her date & her date's parents.

    husband & I are undecided about group dates.

    kt has a "boyfriend" - a new one everyday. At this point we are talking respect for all concerned in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. That's a tough concept for kt right now.

    We talk respect of personal space, emotional & verbal. Name calling (verbal abuse), blackmail (emotional) & of course keeping each other's body's their own. If something doesn't feel or seem right you put a stop to it.

    In the same right, we talk respect of the parents (families) of those involved. If kt is willing to lie or get into trouble over a boy, that boy isn't worth dating. Period. The same goes for the boyfriend.

    We also discuss sex, oral sex & what that means. I let kt know that she shouldn't have sex if she isn't willing to face the consequences (i.e. STDs, pregnancy, etc). As kt has always wanted a baby we downplay the pregnancy thing. Instead we let her know our stance on sex & where it belongs in a relationship.

    I also let kt know that she wants a boyfriend who has the same values as our family. Values that she can live with. Honesty, respect, loyalty to name a few. More importantly a boyfriend who will stick with you through thick & thin, if she thinks that boyfriend is "it". Right now every boyfriend is the "one" she will marry.

    kt knows & will tell you her life plan...... high school, vocational school/college, job, cool car (kt wants a yellow Vette), travel & play, date, find your true love, marry (age 28 or older), sex & then a baby. We have told her this since the age of 10. And she will tell you that 25 is a good age to marry & have a baby at 27 (I'll accept that).

    We have a morning ritual before kt heads out to school - a morning mom/daughter conversation. Any topic is open for conversation & we talk quietly. I've spent years talking to her of these things.

    Once kt grasps these ideas/concepts we will be a great deal more comfortable letting her date - I think 16 is a good target for her.

    by the way, I let kt know regularly to cherish the girlfriends she makes right now - they will stick with her no matter what. Just recently a friend from high school connected with me after almost 30 years - we picked up right where we left off. Women friends are the most loyal & patient; should be cherished.

    Sorry for the rambling - this has been a long time conversation with kt.
     
  8. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Definitely! I have done the same with my girls. It's so important to have a couple of, even if it's only the two, girlfriends to draw on and be true with over a boyfriend. The girlfriend's are with you through thick and thin and those relationships need to be cherished and nurtured. Excellent reminder to our daughters!
     
  9. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I did not have any pre planned age set for either of my daughters. difficult child was very into makeup and clothes and boys. She was in class with only boys after mid grade 7, not by MY choice at all. The girls she did know we hard and "fast" She did not like the boys she was in class with. Kids who were not in her class at school usually were not allowed around her becuz she was in ED BD class, altho she was not violent at all. Turns out she did have a boyfriend that she managed to sneak with, and he was considerably older than her. He did not drive, she does not drive, He lives with his mother, in another town.

    easy child had no interest in make up clothes or boys AT ALL. It was a huge surprise even to her when she was just short of 16 that she did find one boy she was taken with. Prior to that she did large group things with a very large group she had been part of since preschool. It did include boys and girls, and none of the kids paired off at all. She eventually became a couple with this boy, and has been ever since, but they do still go out with the large group very often, and she even goes to lunch or movies with some of the boys from the large group- and sometimes with some of the girls.
    My youngest brother who is around age of my daughters never "dated" My mother only had him around other males. He is now almost 23 and mom has now been gone 3 years and as far as any of us know, he still does not date girls at all.
    My son, now 13, has had a female best friend, same one now, for over 5 years. My son is my youngest child, his best friend is the youngest of her siblings. Mostly they "hang out" in large groups, playing basketball and or videogames. She has a name that is shortened and my son calls her by the male version ofher name, at her request, and when he talks about her, if you did not know, you would think he was talking about a male friend. If you see her from afar, you would not realize she is a she.

    I am not sure I would put any specific age on dateing ahead of time. To me, there seems to be so many variables. My difficult child was actually far more stable in her time leading up to her mid teens than she was by 15 and 16. 16 was her absolute most horrible time. easy child seemed quite responsible and mature until approx age 17.5 These days it sometimes seems like difficult child might lean more towards female pairing than male. And my youngest brother, most now assume he prefers same sex entirely.

    For any kid who really desires to be with another person, a very strict and rigid set of rules does not always work to keep them apart, and can cause them to behave even more extreme than they might otherwise. For some kids, even if rules are very lax, they still somehow manage to do OK. It just so much depends on the child and on their level of maturity and level of stability AT THAT MOMENT. Even if a child is not a difficult child, they can still have some level of instability- they can still have serious lapses in judement, and they can still get themself in a difficult situation.
     
  10. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Thirty-five, no exceptions! :winks:
     
  11. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I am not entirely convinced the girlfriends are there thru thick and thin. Sadly all my friends passed away, from assorted reasons. My kids have lived their whole life here in this house, and most of their friends and associates are long term, since preschool. Many of the kids, they began to "change" as they became 15, 16, 17. Some began to experiment with drinking or drugs. Those usually drifted away from my daughters. More than you would think are already mothers themself. Friendships that were solid and great in elem and or middle school, some of the girls can get pretty cold and mean later in high school. Girls especially can be outright cold and hard hearted. Girls can be incredibly nasty to each other. easy child at 19 is friends with several boys that are every bit like a friend as any girl. Some of the kids who were not such great seeming kids in elem and middle school blossomed into wonderful older teens. "Good" kids have often done some very wild unbelievable things out of the clear blue sky, and kids we thought more on the wild side have at times been the most level headed in the group. MY most helpful friend these days is a man I have known over 30 years.....he is also married with teen kids. His kids are 2-3 years older than mine. We see each other maybe half an hour once a year, with spouses and or kids in tow, but he calls, texts and emails with me. He held my hand so to speak when my son had surgery. (By cell) I did the same for him when he went thru cancer treatment when his wife was at work. (by text messages)
     
  12. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    Tired mommmy, I like your answer!
    Actually the few times my kids asked me that question, I replied with a casual 43 and walked away, LOL. And me, now? If I had to do it over? LOL- I'm not sure I am old enough yet to date. Yech.
     
  13. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    That is the age I taught for 22 years. I can tell you...12 is too young to even have a boyfriend that you don't even 'date.' It makes them grow up way too fast. They spend all their time texting, irgnoring school work, etc.

    Now, that being said, you can't control what they do when they are not phsysically with you. But, you CAN control things like texting, MySpace, email, blogs, cell phone usage, etc. Those things only encourage a relationship that is too young.

    Personally, I had a rule of 9th grade. Fortunately, my daughter didn't discover boys until her senior year. YEAH!!!

    Just my 2 cents

    Abbey
     
  14. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Abbey,

    email, blogs, texting, cell phone usage is all very supervised here. kt doesn't have access to the internet accept at school & here & is very limited & supervised. She hates that.

    I tell her that I'm doing this to protect here & keep her on track for her life & learning skills. She still hates it.

    A boy wasn't convinced she didn't have texting on her cell phone & told her to hang up & he would text her. It didn't work. by the way, I'm killing her social life. I don't care right now - she has other things to worry about.

    TM, husband tells kt she can date when she's 39. kt has begun to ignore him; I just tell her that he's being a dad & that's what they're supposed to say.
     
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    My husband has said 40, no exceptions. Jessie laughed at him. Even thank you laughed at that one.

    Jessie's friends who are in school all have boyfriends, meaning they talk at school. she says that is stupid (her words, my gratefulness for them!). She is totally disinterested in boys.

    We also have talks like timerlady. About respect, about life plans, etc... I think the boys will be all over her when school starts in the fall, but it will be because her body is quite developed. So I think she will ignore it or just be snarky to the guys. She really has no patience for people who only want to talk to her because how she looks. and she CAN pass for 18 right now, it is super scary to husband and I. she is just very physically developed.

    Wizard has been on movie dates, Gpa let him at 15. But the girl he wants do date he is best friends with, and has been for a long time. She has no patience with the whole dating thing - she dated a guy for a while and it messed with her goals - grades went down, he didn't want her involved in activities because then she wasn't with him (she was 13 or 14 at the time). difficult child was a good friend to her then and that is how she sees him.

    I seem to be seeing that the girl's parents are more strict than the guys. I hate this, but is seems to be the way it is going here.

    MWM, good luck with her. Just follow your instincts I guess.
     
  16. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    My son is not in school, LOL, I Homeschool him, and he goes around his group of friends mostly on say Satrudays, late afternoon, and the parents are all outside over there, cooking on grill, informal block party most of the time, the whole block there by my sons friend - parents and kids are out playing basketball, or if weather is bad, the adults plus kids play videogames as a large group- very little phone calls or texts between the kids at all. Most of the weekdays the kids there are very busy in activities and my son stays up at nite with my husband (his daddy) and my son sleeps till late. Dureing school year, my son sees even less of his female friend and his other friends. Maybe every other week, they get together, as a large group. he and his friends do not call or text at all dureing school week, everyone is so busy with schoolwork.
    easy child and her boyfriend both drive, both have cell phones, and now are inseperable. BUT they both work full time and both begin college in fall, and had many classes together at school. PCs grades stayed the same and her boyfriend grades went up after they paired off, becuz easy child is very serious about her education and she forces boyfriend to study more, LOL. difficult child had not had academics at school since grade 7 or so, becuz her ed bd class did not do academics.....and they did not get grades, so she had no grades to have drop. <sigh> and this past year difficult child seriously and heavy ignores most input etc from nearly everyone, male or female. The male in her life the last 6 or so years, well, sad to say, they never did anything that even remotely resembled "dateing" And neither she nor her male drive at all. BUT difficult children female friends a couple years ago did more to text and call nonstop and help distract difficult child from responsibilities etc than any male did.

    Dateing AND "friendships" whether with same sex or opposite sex can both be disruptive, can both cause kids to find trouble etc, and large groups can influence a kid every bit as much as intimate one on one relationships. Maybe even more so. Sadly, my easy child had a middle school experience where the school counselor actually strongly encouraged some very not so good relationships, includeing my easy child. <sigh>
    AND, weird as it might sound, some kids now have things going- "friends with benefits" and some kids are experimenting with sex with people they do not necessarily have any desire to pair off with.....simply exactly specifically for the sex part. It is rather frightening.
     
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the responses.
    I am a little touchy about cracking the whip completely because that can often lead to rebellion and keeping secrets. My daughter has a private MySpace, but she knows I can check it any time I want, and I do. I also check her cell phone, including who called her, who she texted, who texted her etc. She is really a good kid, but she looks a lot older than twelve and is quite well liked. I am thinking that hanging out with friends is ok. Group dating is ok at 14. Anything more depends is at least fifteen and depends on the boy and her own maturity and choices. I was allowed to date at fourteen and I did and I stayed a virgin until I was married, although I married early (20). My 24 year old daughter, who got into mucho trouble, did not really date until seventeen, but she also had sex at seventeen. Truly, I have no idea what works and what doesn't work. For now, no dating at all. She does have a lot of girlfriends--tons--but like Dreamer said, they are not always "good" friends. She is a kid who everyone likes and she switches bff's routinely and also suffers her share of betrayals. Her biggest interest is sports--she's a gifted athlete--and most of her energy goes there. I guess I'll just keep her busy...lol. For her, nothing beets playing softball, basketball, track, volleyballl, etc. etc. etc.
    thanks for the input. Lots fo chew on.
     
  18. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    depends on the kid. My difficult child II's girl "friend" is 11, but I only say "friend" and there are no "dates" only outings as "friends" both her Mom and I have agreed this is the best course. Although difficult child II treats it very much like a "date" he buys her things and opens doors and such.
     
  19. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    I'm a little late on this thread but here's my take.

    I have 2 girls. Ms Emo is 16 1/2. She didn't have her first boyfriend until she was 13. It was only an in school type thing. The only thing they did once was go to a highschool football game. She met him and his friends there with her friend never. Otherwise they didn't do anything or never went anywhere. They didn't even talk on the phone. She never kissed him either. Up until that point she wasn't even interested in boys. Even then it truly wasn't a true "boyfriend" or "boy" interest, more of the "thing" to do. She didn't have another boyfriend again until she was a freshman in highschool. She still didn't experience her first kiss until 16! She was way behind the times as far as all things socially because prior to everything she had to handle her reputation that preceeded her from elementary school which caused kids to fear her. Basically it was because during those years we were getting a handle on all her issues and diagnosis'.

    Ms Queen is only 11. She is and always has been boy crazy and has issues (some of which are yet diagnosed/undiscovered cause) that create inappropriate behaviors since she was extremely young, like 4/5 years old. She'd go around hugging and kissing on boys (and even little girls). She tends to notice body parts that should just be part of the body as a whole, not individually. She is not lacking for socialness. Prior to our move to NC she had a very large base of friends as well. Now she is basically shunned due to behaviors that have changed for the worse/negatively. She has to be monitored closely due to all of this as she wants so badly to have a boyfriend and really likes boys.

    I will not be allowing her to have a boyfriend anytime soon, unlike my older one. The older one was way more mature and really lacked the social development that would have lead to the need to truly worry about anything. She actually "needed" to grow maturity as far as social and relationships. The younger one needs constraints. If I allowed her more reins I could very easily have a pregnant teenager at any time (I kid you not!). Although younger one has not begun her menses yet, she has displayed PMS symptoms for 1 1/2 years on a monthly basis. by the way older one did not start her menses until just before 14.

    Two completely different policies because they are two different make ups with different issues and developments as well. For the older I allow her at her age to go 1 on 1 and with groups. She still feels awkward at times with the 1 on 1's. For the younger, she will have to do groups I fear for a very long time unless things suddenly change and even dating won't happen until she is minimumally age 15 perhaps 16 (again unless something drastic changes or we learn more about what's going on with her).

    I also have a son, which I know is a horse of a different color but to throw it out there. If he stays as he is now, he is socially aware, mature and intelligent. I will allow him to date at 13 in groups. At 15 1 on 1 to something like the movies. You have to realize that at 16 down here they can have a license so that opens the ability to drive themselves to the movies too.

    That's my 2 cents.
     
  20. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think you will get many different opinions because all our girls are different. Some can handle responsibility younger, and are very trustworthy.

    However, my take on this is why put my daugher into a position where she may have to make a choice she is not mature enough to handle. Our rule - No alone dating until 16. She could attend a school dance with a group, go to dinner in a group, go to the movies in a group, go to the mall........ But no driving alone with a boy until she was 16 and I approved him!!! Since she knew this from middle school, it was never an issue.

    It's not just about the maturity level of your daughter either. It's about the maturity level of the boy she is with as well.

    My strong opnion on this issue is that when kids (and at 12, 13, and 14 you really are still a kid) are allowed to date (and I use that word loosely because even saying you have a girlfriend or boyfriend at 12 is kinda ridiculous in my opinion) early, they begin the mating dance. Once you begin, it's much easier to move on to the next phase. I have seen this with my daughter's friends/associates who were allowed to date and have boyfriends as young as middle school. Not one of them remained a virgin for long, and many, once that virginity was taken, placed less value on committment sexual relationships. Casual sex was easier. This is not the case with everyone, but why take the chance that my daughter's self worth is wrapped up in some guy's value of her body or her willingness to "perform"?

    Like Linda, I believe an open and honest relationship with our girls, where they feel comfortable discussing sex and all its ramifications, is really important.

    It is equally important with our boys. I am a big "respect" preacher with my son.

    That's my take on it.

    Sharon
     
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