Dating is a big part of a teenager’s life, and that’s our cultural way for kids to get to know each other and hopefully find the person they are ultimately going to marry. Now, let me separate between single dating and group dating. Some great work was done by Josh Mc Dowell in a campaign that he did, and he found out that the younger a kid starts dating, the more apt they are to lose their virginity by the time they graduate from high school. If you wait until they are sixteen, it’s down to 20%. When you figure a year’s time—365 days in the life of a young person—it’s an amazing amount of maturity that’s happening in that time. Dads say, “Well, I’m scared to death to do that.” Well, you know, I don’t want to be blunt, but we need to cowboy up on this one.
"But I didn't start dating until I was 18," says Mom. According to one survey, nearly half of teens between the ages of 11 to 14 years old are dating.
More and more parents are faced with this dilemma today.
This survey also found that sex is considered a large part of dating by teens.
Perhaps even more alarmingly, it also found significant levels of abuse in these relationships.
With this knowledge of the dating scene, why would anyone allow their tween to start dating?
"Teenagers often wonder two things: how to date and what a healthy relationship is," says Jennifer Connolly, Ph D, Director of the La Marsh Centre for Research on Violence and Conflict Resolution at York University.