Teenagers and dating rules

On the other hand, she adds, “if you’re really dating, at some point you absolutely do want your parents to meet him.” Your teen doesn’t have to be dating or talking to anyone to have a date to the prom, winter formal or Sadie Hawkins dance.

That’s because most kids go in large groups and are couples in name only.

Most experts and parents consulted for this article say group “dates” to the mall, movies or even a friend’s house are fine as long as they’re supervised, even if it means just being in the same shopping center.

Ed Parrish, a banker and father of four from Graham, has noticed that his 13-year-old son has started asking his older sister if her friend’s younger sister can join her on visits to the Parrish home. Sometimes, his son will go to the movies with guy friends and “meet up” with a group of girls from school, Parrish says.

“We don’t have the vocabulary and we don’t have the experiences to be able to help.

We’re learning this at the same time our children are navigating through it.” What follows is a teen dating primer to help your child — and you — forge the valley between child and young adult.

What to watch for: If your teen experiences signs of depression weeks after a breakup, appears to be arguing or behaving differently with their boyfriend/girlfriend, withdraws from other friends or shows signs of physical abuse such as bruises or scratches, check with your doctor, school counselor or a community psychologist right away, advise both Gurwitch and Reardon.“Maybe among the younger girls it’s more important to have a boyfriend, but as we’ve gotten older, it’s just not as important,” she says.Parents should try to stay on top of who their child is talking to or dating, and why — especially with younger teens.Megan*, a senior at Myers Park High School in Charlotte, says only about 20 percent of these relationships result in an official couple.Jennifer*, a junior at Sanderson High School in Raleigh, notes that while it’s not cool to “talk” to more than one person at a time, some people go from one talking “relationship” to another without actually dating anyone, which tends to explain the relatively low numbers of actual couples.

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