Dating for young teens

For parents who are unaware of the people and dynamics at play, it’s difficult to know what you’re facing.This is yet another reason to spend relaxed time together and engage in frequent conversation; surveys show teens actually want to discuss dating, drugs and other pressures with their parents.So is this online hook up trend something that we, as parents, should be worried about?According to Jocelyn Brewer, a Psychologist who works mainly with adolescents, it’s not so much that parents should be worried, but more that they just need to be very aware.“It’s definitely the case that even for teens using social media sites who are not specifically looking to hook up, such advances and suggestions happen.

Despite the fact that for the majority of these adolescents the main social networking sites which provide opportunity to meet people remain the likes of Facebook, My Space, Twitter and Instagram, there is a small emergence of teens, as young as 13, who are now adding hook up, chat rooms, and dating sites to those that they visit.

What is perhaps more worrying, however, is the fact that the promotion of such sites to a younger audience doesn't seem to just stop there.

An article published last year in American magazine, Seventeen, whose target audience is females aged 12-19, appeared to put the idea out there that online dating sites may be the way forward, with the writer of the article (a college aged blogger) enthusiastically regaling the story of how her friend had become engaged six months after meeting her partner on line.

Conventional wisdom says there’s no “right” age to start dating – it depends on the child’s maturity.

But new research suggests there is probably a “wrong” age to start dating: middle school.

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Those most at risk for substance abuse are girls who date boys two or more years older than them.

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