Dating at an early age

Teens who start having sex significantly earlier than their peers also show higher rates of delinquency in later years, new research shows.A national study of more than 7,000 youth found that adolescents who had sex early showed a 20 percent increase in delinquent acts one year later compared to those whose first sexual experience occurred at the average age for their school.When he or she does, you’ll have to step up to the plate with some parenting skills.A teen does not learn how to date in the classroom and most likely has only picked up on some of the basics, like respecting someone’s personal space, at home.“Those who start having sex too young may not be prepared to deal with the potential emotional, social and behavioral consequences of their actions.” The researchers used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.

Then tell them, “Just three more years, and you can date.” Just kidding -- sort of.Technology has changed the way teens date, and many parents aren't sure how to talk about dating these days.Here are five things every parent should know: While some teens tend to be interested in dating earlier than others, romantic interests are normal during adolescence.They usually hasten to inform me, “All his (her) friends are dating.” My quick answer is: When they’re married, and only with their spouse. Now back in the old days — the early 1980s — you met resistance for such a decision mainly from the children. You can’t wrap a moral bubble around them; they have to deal with life. A recent survey suggested that if a child has a first date between the ages of 11 and 13, he or she has a 90% probability of being sexually active during senior year in high school. Key factors to consider in granting any type of dating freedom are your child’s: • moral maturity • independence of thought • history of conduct in other social settings • strength of will • social judgment • choice of friends • responsibility toward schoolwork • respect for authority.Seriously, dating age depends upon all kinds of factors, and varies from child to child, even within the same family. Never consider your neighborhood’s “average age” when making your decision. Parents used to expect instinctively to be challenged by their kids, especially in judgments of how fast one should grow up. If you make kids too different, they’ll feel like weirdos who don’t fit in. First date at age 14 leads to a 50% chance; first date at age 16, 20% chance. I figure if I make the list long enough, my kids won’t be eligible to date until they move out.