High school boys and dating
In the backseat they were chattering away, and in the front seat, I was the proverbial fly on the wall. “Yeah, they have been hooking up for a while.” Dating? I wondered how they could be talking about these things when they couldn’t even drive a car or pay for the movies.They were laughing about another friend who was “dating” a girl. It got me wondering what exactly “dating” means to middle schoolers, and whether it’s a good idea at that age.As many parents know, adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 can be the most perplexing and frustrating humans on the planet.One minute they are happy with life; the next, they hate everything.On the other hand, students who never or hardly ever dated consistently had the best study skills and demonstrated the least risky behavior. “They feel pressure to date—that’s the cool thing to do,” she says.
To avoid falling prey to it, try keeping a calendar that you can use to track the days until graduation.So coupling an adolescent’s risk-taking with his love for reward plus the innate need to establish his own sexual identity can mean that previously innocuous behavior can lead, if unchecked, to high-risk activities. While most people think of dating as getting in the car, picking someone up, and taking them to the movies or dinner, that’s an adult’s definition.In fact, changes in an adolescent’s brain around puberty may contribute to an adolescent's seeking out romantic relationships and expanding them into sexual relationships, says B. Casey, Ph D, director of Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology. Adolescents don’t see dating that way, says Casey Corcoran, program director for Children & Youth at Futures Without Violence. The spectrum of informal to formal relationships is wide,” Corcoran says.Also work to compromise on limits to social interactions which might include curfew, adult supervision, acceptable locations, and what is meant by “dating,” then follow through, says Barbara Greenberg, a teen and adolescent psychologist. There’s no doubt that electronic influence on dating is pervasive.So it’s important to let your child know that digital devices and social networking access are privileges that they need to respect, and to be clear about your expectations for behavior on the Internet and with texting.