Dating appropriate teenagers

The old worries about teen pregnancy, tarnished reputations and broken hearts still apply, but today there are new risks due to rising rates of dating violence and sexually-transmitted infections (STIs).

What can a parent do to make sure their dating teens are happy and safe?

Of those who have met a partner online, the majority met on social media sites, and the bulk of them met on Facebook.

While most teen romantic relationships do not start online, technology is a major vehicle for flirting and expressing interest in a potential partner.

Recently, the children of two close friends have begun dating. So I threw the question out there to the World Wide Web: "At what age did you or will you allow your children to start dating?

And it made me realize that we, as parents, have a pretty wide range of ideas on what age kids should be allowed to start dating and even on what dating means at various ages.

A majority of teens with dating experience (76%) say they have only dated people they met via offline methods.

One-quarter (24%) of teen “daters” or roughly 8% of all teens have dated or hooked up with someone they first met online.

It covers the results of a national Pew Research Center survey of teens ages 13 to 17; throughout the report, the word “teens” refers to those in that age bracket, unless otherwise specified. Though 57% of teens have begun friendships in a digital space, teens are far less likely to have embarked on a romantic relationship that started online.

If you don't like the rules, ask calmly about changing them.

They may have rules about things like when you can be alone with a date.

We are not genetically predisposed to deal with such things. Double duty In my house, we allowed dating to start at 9th grade.

But for my daughter, the boy had to be willing to go on a "double date" with my husband and I first.

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