Teen pregnancy expert Sarah Brown on deciding when to let your adolescent begin dating.
Questions: "My daughter is 12 years old and is already showing an interest in boys. What should I do if she wants to begin to date?"
Don't Court Trouble While it's okay and perfectly normal to be interested in boys, she is too young to date -- regardless of what her friends at school might be doing.
Group activities among young people are fine and often fun, but allowing teens to begin steady, one-on-one dating much before age 16 can lead to trouble.
Talk about this issue and your rules before she wants to start dating, otherwise, she'll think you just don't like a particular person or invitation. And be especially careful about the "older boy" situation.
Girls may be attracted to older guys -- they often have more money, seem cooler, or even have a car. But we know now that young girls who date much older boys often end up in terrible situations, including unplanned, unwanted and unprotected sex.
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