Parents may joke that it’s an experience they want their child to have -- just not until somewhere around the age of 30. A 6th grade girl may say, "Jacob is my boyfriend," but what does that mean?
Seriously, though, when is your child ready to date? "At this age, kids use dating labels but aren’t ready to have much direct one-on-one interaction beyond maybe sitting together at lunch or recess," says Dale Atkins, Ph D, a family therapist in New York.
Hopefully, they will be a little more able not to have it all just happen to them. They will be more in control of what happens -- less likely to be victims. They may not be interested.“Mom, this is so lame.”But they do hear and they remember every word.“No, I don’t remember any of it because it’s so stupid.”But she does. Whatever you feel will be useful to your teenaged daughter in navigating her way through this rather tricky realm. Sexuality, and the intimacy that comes with it, can powerfully influence how people feel.
But once the physical intimacy ends, so can many of the feelings.
Don’t assume that having sex with a boy makes a relationship any more than it was.
It may be part of a deeper commitment and a growing bond between two people. The best judge of that is how he treats you over time, not whether you did or did not have sex.
And also remember, images of you that you would find embarrassing may be private while you are still a couple, but if the relationship ends, you can’t be so sure.
Drinking -- by you, him or both of you -- makes the probability of sex considerably greater, and the meaning of what goes on considerably less.
Which is why, as a protection to them, maybe it is not such a bad idea for you to get in your two cents. Hopefully, what they hear from you will allow your daughters to enter this passionate realm with their eyes a little more open. Guys often do mean what they say at the time, but don't assume he feels that way later.
“Of course it will probably be uncomfortable for both of you,” Anthony says.
“But if he’s so uncomfortable that he gets angry or shuts down or otherwise just can’t continue the conversation, that’s a big sign that he’s not ready for this.” If so, assure your child that there’s no hurry to start dating.
"A 12-year-old who looks 16 isn’t ready to date someone who is 16," Anthony says.
You may not love the idea of your child beginning to date, but don't try to pretend it’s not happening.