Dating is a big part of a teenager’s life, and that’s our cultural way for kids to get to know each other and hopefully find the person they are ultimately going to marry. Now, let me separate between single dating and group dating. Some great work was done by Josh Mc Dowell in a campaign that he did, and he found out that the younger a kid starts dating, the more apt they are to lose their virginity by the time they graduate from high school. If you wait until they are sixteen, it’s down to 20%. When you figure a year’s time—365 days in the life of a young person—it’s an amazing amount of maturity that’s happening in that time. Dads say, “Well, I’m scared to death to do that.” Well, you know, I don’t want to be blunt, but we need to cowboy up on this one. In fact, age makes all the difference in the world, when you introduce single dating to a kid. You just can’t really do anything about it until you are sixteen.” And here’s why. You show respect for her.” And then, I think our job as dads is to do the same thing for the guys who come knocking on the door to take out our daughters. That’s kind of fun bravado, but when you sit down, heart-to-heart, and say, “Look. We were very deliberate about it, and we wanted to raise her up to be an extraordinary woman and a great wife someday. But as you take her out, please know I expect you to treat her with respect, to make sure that she is always safe, to make wise choices, and to keep your hands where they belong. And should this not work out, I assume that you are just dating, and I don’t assume any future out of this, but if you guys get really attracted and it doesn’t work out, I expect you to be reverent and kind to her feelings if you have to break up, and I expect her to be reverent and kind to yours, too.” When they knew that was the rules going in, it made it a whole lot easier to get through life. “The number-one benefit is safety,” says the father of two grown children.Going out in mixed groups also gives boys and girls an opportunity to just enjoy one another’s company, without the awkwardness and sexual tension that can intrude upon a one-to-one date. Many of us feel that way when we imagine our son or daughter disappearing into the night arm in arm with a young lady or a young man. Eagar advises not allowing single dating before age sixteen." Predictably, two of the three dads who weighed in responded with "Never!
The recent trend among early adolescents is for boys and girls to socialize as part of a group.
But moms who've already been through this stage say it needn't be cause for stress; the key is to figure out whether your particular child is truly ready to begin dating. Nichole N., a mom of five, spaning from age 6 to 25, believes that it "depends on the maturity of the child." And Angie B.
adds that "The age for dating is different [in] every family," and that much depends on a particular child's level of preparedeness.
If we don’t, boy, we throw them out there to the predators of our culture that could really do a lot of damage.
I do not think teenagers know anything about dating.