So while thinking about or dabbling in this grown up part of life is normal, you may consider counseling if your child is habitually experimenting with relationships at a young age. Whenever your child wants something, he or she is more open to listening to you. If you react reasonably, with a willingness to learn and be flexible, your child will trust your judgment and continue to seek it as the issues around dating become increasingly complex. It can also be a nice way to make a personal connection, learn how respectful relationships are built, and develop personal insight. Two awkward, gawky tweens forced to think of conversation is much better than a group of tweens daring the couple to go into a closet for seven minutes.
What does it even mean to be "dating? And remember to have this conversation in a way that respects their need to feel grown up with your need to protect them. An interest in being more than friends is one of many signs your tween is entering adolescence. To be dating whatever that means can be the ultimate confidence booster. You should also be talking about the appropriate age or circumstance for different levels of physical contact. If dating in middle school terrifies you, take stock of your concerns. This is not for the faint of heart, but you can do it. Is it spending time together at the mall or movies? They fret about being likeable and accepted. This is a good opportunity to share your values , perspectives, and hopes. Keeping a neutral expression while you talk will help tremendously. What kind of person do I want to be? What will each and every decision say about who I am to the people around me? A lack of clear terms with these young relationships is part of the problem. Instead of banning people, think about banning activities. It can also be a nice way to make a personal connection, learn how respectful relationships are built, and develop personal insight. You get the point. Do keep an eye out for serial relationships, though. Learn more about her work with middle schoolers and their parents at MichelleintheMiddle. Be brave enough to have hard conversations about physical and emotional intimacy and reputation and anything else that concerns you. Also, this may help. While you have a web of questions in your head about young dating, most of the decisions I see middle schoolers make relate back to just one question: Are They Old Enough? It may be old-fashioned, but keeping adults in the mix is a great way to slow things down. Remember, middle schoolers often feel isolated and abnormal by nature.
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