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My daughter - now 25 - was 16 when she was allowed on her first date. And what is "dating" - they already believe that they are girlfriend/boyfriend. At the end of our 8th grade year we did go with friends to see a movie or go to festivals, church events. Too young for a job-too young for a boyfriend and movie dates. Not that she'll immediately get pregnant or something, but she needs to spend her energy and intellect elsewhere for the next couple of years if humanly possible.Prior to that - again no cell phones - we joined them - discreetly - but we were there. Dating has become less formal, less two-by-two, and more about doing things in groups. That summer we would meet up at the pool on the weekends. Boyfriends are so darn all consuming mentally at that age.The last thing on a 13 year olds mind is marriage so dating would be out of the question for me - just my 2 cents. 13 year olds are not emotionally prepared for relationships. In our household we see dating as the precurssor to marriage.In fact they only person I claim to have ever dated was my husband and I was 29 when I met him.I don't know what I think the "right" age is to start dating, but I know for me it's not 13! Thanks for all the great responses - I appreciated those that disagreed with me as much as those that agreed. He had met my mom and totally respected her and so he respected me. I think it is up to the parents to decide what is best for the individual child.The double date did not happen, and the stares & silence ended the next day. We attended different high schools, so then we went out with different people.. I was never going to get pregnant and if anyone had tried any shenanigans like that, I was out of there.. I only remember one time I ever came home late from a date, and she very calmly told the young man " J, I am very disappointed with you. I do not think I will ever be able to trust you again." He was devastated and worked really hard to gain her trust, but I knew it was over.
you can take the time out to explain all the risks she is taking now, and try to trust her to a point.... She has always seemed to be more of a tomboy and would rather hang around boys, which still happens at school, but in listening to their conversations that's all they are- friends.She would never admit it, but I think she knows we're not COMPLETELY unreasonable on this one!! Prior to that - I had "boyfriends" and we talked on the phone and went over to each other's houses for homework - doors were ALWAYS open and nothing was done in private. Later there was some kissing and flirting and light making out, but that was towards the end of high school. I had always thought you were a responsible person. Dating while under the eye of parents is the best way to keep things safe.:)T.: Make a compromise - if they want to go to a movie - JOIN THEM!! There's no "right age" to start dating, but there may be a right level of maturity. We did not really date, but he was invited to our house a lot. If you do not allow them to date or have close friends, once they get out of your home, you will not be there to guide them. They may test you,, but always prove to them you were very serious about the consequences. Like anything else important discipline wise, of course she isn't going to like it.With that said, my childhood was a lot different, I was allowed to date and have boys over for a movie and go to movies, let me tell you, I got myself into a lot of trouble having a little freedom to date.I am not saying your daughter is at all like me, I just wanted you to know where the little bit of dating freedom got me in 7th grade.