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Remember, middle schoolers often feel isolated and abnormal by nature. To be dating (whatever that means) can be the ultimate confidence booster. Do keep an eye out for serial relationships, though.
It can also be a nice way to make a personal connection, learn how respectful relationships are built, and develop personal insight. A 2013 study from the University of Georgia found that middle schoolers who were in high-frequency or back-to-back relationships tended to be prone to higher-risk behaviors, like drinking or doing drugs, later in adolescence. It may seem like a safety net to have more tweens around, but the group mentality can quickly push boundaries.
It’s a very concrete litmus test for daily, minute-by-minute decisions. What will each and every decision say about who I am to the people around me?
Do I want to be the kind of person who likes Chance the Rapper or Bruno Mars? Related: The Neurological Reason Why Your Middle Schooler Acts Like a Toddler Not until early adulthood do we stop questioning what each decision says about our identity and that’s because by early adulthood we’re ready to focus on someone other than ourselves: a partner.
If you’re the parent of a middle schooler and the topic of dating has come up, it probably left you fretting over questions like these: - What does dating so young say about my child’s personality in the long run?
- What if my child starts on a path toward physical intimacy?
Perhaps you’re worried about early physical intimacy, heartbreak, or your tween’s reputation. Instead, choose the top one or two to discuss calmly and without criticism.
(I don’t know if that’s still a thing, but it was when I was in middle school.) You get the point.They vacillate between the pull of both worlds, sometimes wanting to stay home and play with their toys and other times eager to announce a coveted relationship status on their Instagram bios.Making the situation more complex is that we’re talking about a term without a universal definition. " Maybe you envision kids skipping class to fool around in the woods.You should also be talking about the appropriate age or circumstance for different levels of physical contact.
This is not for the faint of heart, but you can do it.I’m using the words “child” and “dating” in the same sentence and it’s freaking some of you out.