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13 Year Olds Dating - Reality Check

My 13 year old daughter has a boyfriend (i.e., they sit together at lunch at school and talk/text), She and a friend want to go to a movie on a double date this weekend. My husband and I said no, explaining that we believe 13 is too young to be going on dates. We are now hated - enduring deaths stares and silence. I'm looking for opinions from other moms of teens about when your daighters went on a first date, had a first boyfriend, etc. I don't know what I think the "right" age is to start dating, but I know for me it's not 13! HELP!!

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the great responses - I appreciated those that disagreed with me as much as those that agreed. The double date did not happen, and the stares & silence ended the next day. She would never admit it, but I think she knows we're not COMPLETELY unreasonable on this one!! :)

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T.:

Make a compromise - if they want to go to a movie - JOIN THEM!!

My daughter - now 25 - was 16 when she was allowed on her first date. Prior to that - again no cell phones - we joined them - discreetly - but we were there. If she didn't like it - too bad.

I was 16 when I was allowed to have my first date. I had STRICT guidelines too. We didn't have cell phones. Prior to that - I had "boyfriends" and we talked on the phone and went over to each other's houses for homework - doors were ALWAYS open and nothing was done in private.

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For me, a double date to a movie would be fine at 13. That's pretty safe.

But for you it's not, so I don't know what to tell you.

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Not without a parent before age 16. The parent need not be breathing down their necks, but close enough. Those were the rules for me and what I will employ with my children.

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T., hold your ground. It is too early for her to do this. She will not want to wait two more years (or 3, whatever you are planning) to single date.

What you should do instead is invite a group of kids over to your house, fix them food, play music, have board games, Twister, etc. Have them in the family room. No allowing anyone to go into a bedroom. Come in and out of the family room during their time together. Be careful to look at any DVD's that a kid might bring to make sure you think it's appropriate- I had a problem with that, but my son is 18.

If you do this, she will feel like she has something fun to do with him, and you hold the cards. I urge you not to give in to her. Let her give you death stares all she wants - 13 is too young to date.

Last thing - she won't hate you the next time she asks you to take her to the mall...

D.

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There's no "right age" to start dating, but there may be a right level of maturity. And what is "dating" - they already believe that they are girlfriend/boyfriend. Dating has become less formal, less two-by-two, and more about doing things in groups.

I'm afraid I don't see what the issue is with four 13 year-olds going to a movie together. My son had a girlfriend by the time he was 13, my daughter was 14. I also have a daughter who will be 9 soon. I've already watched her flirt (quite skillfully) with boys her age, so I'm expecting this to happen early with her, too.

More important than age is self-esteem, the ability to talk with their parents about any concerns, their ability to say "no" to things they aren't comfortable with, the ability to make good choices when choosing friends.

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Ah, the death stares. And she'll thank you later. I could go out on group dates at 14 and alone at 15.5. I really don't care if this is a "different time." I'm doing the same for my daughters. I say "for" not "to" because I love her and I will survive the inevitable death stares just like my parents did.

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From a former middle school teacher, I say wait until 16! I have a former student, now in 8th grade that I found out is having sex with a 7th grade boy. Where? In the family restroom at the mall! Her parents had been dropping her off at the mall and movies with her boyfriend. Oops! Stay strong! It is your job to protect her and be her parent, not her best friend. She'll thank you when she is older!

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She's too young. -Endure the stares!

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Hahahaha! I wasn't allowed to "date" until I was 16...and even then, one or both of my parents tagged along. Ya know what though? I'm glad they did! I never had to worry about coming home and facing the infamous "Ummm, guess what?..." scenario. I'd endure the death stares. She'll thank you for it later. She's 13 for crying out loud. :)

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I met my husband when we were 13. We did not really date, but he was invited to our house a lot. At the end of our 8th grade year we did go with friends to see a movie or go to festivals, church events. That summer we would meet up at the pool on the weekends. I had a full time babysitting job 5 days a week, and he bussed tables, so weekends are when we got to see each other. There were always lots of friends along.

Once we were freshmen in high school, we did get dropped off at the movies.
Sometimes the roller rink.. Mall, etc.. and meet up.. We were very clean cut.. We were total squares. Holding hands was as far as we went. Honestly.

He had met my mom and totally respected her and so he respected me.
We attended different high schools, so then we went out with different people.. again pretty chaste.. and around other friends.

I think it is up to the parents to decide what is best for the individual child.
I was never going to get pregnant and if anyone had tried any shenanigans like that, I was out of there..

Later there was some kissing and flirting and light making out, but that was towards the end of high school. My mother was very clear about her expectations. No one messed with her.

I only remember one time I ever came home late from a date, and she very calmly told the young man " J, I am very disappointed with you. I had always thought you were a responsible person. No one else has ever brought L. home late without my permission. I do not think I will ever be able to trust you again." He was devastated and worked really hard to gain her trust, but I knew it was over.

Dating while under the eye of parents is the best way to keep things safe. If you do not allow them to date or have close friends, once they get out of your home, you will not be there to guide them. Start off slow. They may test you,, but always prove to them you were very serious about the consequences.

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Uh, read the posts about a mom whose 14 year old is pregnant. THERE'S your answer!

I wasn't allowed to date until 16 and neither will my girls be. 13 is too young, though I was allowed to go on 'group dates' at 14 (but never actually did) Stay strong through the death stares and enjoy the silence while it lasts! lol

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T.:

Make a compromise - if they want to go to a movie - JOIN THEM!!

My daughter - now 25 - was 16 when she was allowed on her first date. Prior to that - again no cell phones - we joined them - discreetly - but we were there. If she didn't like it - too bad.

I was 16 when I was allowed to have my first date. I had STRICT guidelines too. We didn't have cell phones. Prior to that - I had "boyfriends" and we talked on the phone and went over to each other's houses for homework - doors were ALWAYS open and nothing was done in private.

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You're right. Like anything else important discipline wise, of course she isn't going to like it. Too young for a job-too young for a boyfriend and movie dates. Idle hands are the devil's playthings. Not that she'll immediately get pregnant or something, but she needs to spend her energy and intellect elsewhere for the next couple of years if humanly possible. Boyfriends are so darn all consuming mentally at that age. Sure she'll still think about him and communicate (I'm not looking forward to having a texting 13 year old, but it may happen if texting is still the thing in 9 years...), but the dates are a slippery slope. I didn't even try to pull that with my parents until junior or senior year, and even then it was just going out with a "group" and hanging with a favorite guy in the mix without telling them because I wasn't really allowed to date.

My 14 year old neighbor/babysitter talks about nothing but her boyfriend boyfriend boyfriend. She does everything with her boyfriend. She's hardly ever free to sit because she's with her boyfriend's family and away on all their church group's outreach things together. Whenever I come home, there she is right after school until dark with her boyfriend until he wanders home when her parents get home. She flaked on sitting for us New Year's Eve to be with her boyfriend. 14 years old! Doesn't she need money??! She's with her boyfriend all day long at school and after school, and I NEVER GO OUT!!! Anyway, she just turned 15, and yup, pregnant.
I know the movies is a far cry from this for you daughter, but still, you're right, it's too young.

Your daughter needs to stay busy and not start paring off on dating things. It's doesn't help that other parents allow this which makes it hard to keep the standard age up where it should be-15-16-ish, imo.

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T....I had to laugh about your comment "We are now hated - enduring deaths stares and silence." As a mother of three raised college girls, I had plenty of those stares. I didn't let them date until 16, they didn't have cell phones until 16, no tv's, computers or phones in their rooms and I was the WORST MOTHER in the world!

I too, endured many stares...sometimes I really had to work hard not to start laughing! As far as the stares go...enjoy them! They are the first of many!

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she has just hit puberty, 1 of 2 things can happen... you can take the time out to explain all the risks she is taking now, and try to trust her to a point.... or you can do what my parents did and lock her away from boys until she is old enough to run away, and then have a prego 15yr old... kids are weird now. we cant tell them of the evils in the world without expecting them to be curious. we dont stay scared for long. try to talk to her like an 'adult' and explain your concerns. believe it or not, she will be more afraid to screw up if she knows you trust her than she will be if she knows you dont.

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I didn't read all the responses, but I thought I'd let you know what we are doing in our household.

Our daughter knows that dating isn't allowed until......dad says so! :) She turns 14 in about a month. She is the oldest cousin on her dad's side and most of them are boys, so she is very comfortable around boys. She has always seemed to be more of a tomboy and would rather hang around boys, which still happens at school, but in listening to their conversations that's all they are- friends. I believe some kids in school claim that she has a boyfriend, but she has never said that and actually denies it when questions arise.

A few weeks ago she told me about a certain boy at school who has asked her out a few times, but she has declined because she "knows" how dad will react. This gave me the perfect opportunity to explain dating, as we, her parents, see it.

I told her that we don't want her dating until she wants to marry. There is no reason that a 11-12- or even 15 year old should be dating. At that age it's more about who is seen with whom rather than developing a deep relationship. As a middle school teacher I have seen quite a few very hurt girls and boys who have been dating and we just don't want to see our daughter in that boat. At 16+ or so.......if our daughter is mature enough and exhibits the Christian qualities we try instill in our house then maybe....but as of now, I don't see her wanting to date.

In our household we see dating as the precurssor to marriage. In fact they only person I claim to have ever dated was my husband and I was 29 when I met him. Yes, I did go out on a few dates with other men, but that was it-- maybe one or two here and there over the years. But the only one I ever had a long term relationship with is my husband. Neither my husband nor I dated in high school.

I don't even think my husband was really dating our daughter's mother when he got her pregnant and we don't want something like that to happen to her. So basically we told her that once she is old enough to become a mother, so to speak, she can start dating- within a group setting first before it become serious.

I know a lot of people will say we are old fashioned, but in our area I have seen more pregnant teens in the schools then I care to see and I don't want to have any of my children be either the mother or father in that case!

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For me, a double date to a movie would be fine at 13. That's pretty safe.

But for you it's not, so I don't know what to tell you.

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My daughter is only 11, but the answer is NO. 13 is just too young for all of that stuff. At that age, a girl should be discovering who she is and who she wants to become. I just can't see how a boyfriend fits into all of that. We're what some might call old fashioned but I've been talking to my daughter about NOT dating too young since she was old enough to understand. We want her to grow up and turn into a beautiful young woman who knows herself BEFORE she starts all the dating stuff. She has older female cousins who are beautiful, smart and great role models for her.

I don't have an exact age for when she will be allowed to solo date, but she already understands (and agrees) that before a young man can so much as take her out for a soda, he will be sitting down and talking with my husband first. Yes, you read that correctly. My daughter's purity is of the utmost concern to all of us so there will be a conversation before anyone takes my daughter anywhere. You wouldn't hand your car keys to a boy you didn't know, why would you send your precious daughter out with him? If a young man is interested in "courting" our daughter, he is welcome to do that when she is old enough to be thinking of marriage and not before. The last thing on a 13 year olds mind is marriage so dating would be out of the question for me - just my 2 cents.

Stick to your guns, ignore the stares. 13 year olds are not emotionally prepared for relationships. Heck, some of us adults are barely ready! Good luck.

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Nope, I never did that at that age.
Nor will my daughter.
Nope.

Then, now... whats the difference. They are still 13, then in my generation or now.

Also keep in mind... from about that age, 'group' opposite sex outings happens. THEN, some of the girls/boys, can just go off on their own and separate from the 'group.' And do whatever, making out. grope each other, etc. It happens. It happened then, when I was in middle school, and it happens nowadays too. Even if the parents know or not.

So, I hope your daughter had the sex talk etc, and knows about herself well enough that she does not just go and do what a boy says. Has respect for herself and is responsible and is open with you and knows, she can tell you things. Private things, problems, curious questions etc.

The human brain, is not even fully developed until 26 years old.
But the genitals of a 13 year old, coupled with curiosity and peer pressure... is humming along.

You/Hubby are the BOSS. Not them.
Silent treatments and death stares from them, are nothing.

YOU and Hubby, are the top of the Totem Pole. Not them.
If you are weak in handling this... they will not respect, their boundaries/rules.

all the best,
Susan

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I have a 13 year old and thankfully we aren't there YET but some of her friends are and some peers at her school are having sex already. We are on our knees a lot praying for her to keep her promise of purity till marriage. With that said, my childhood was a lot different, I was allowed to date and have boys over for a movie and go to movies, let me tell you, I got myself into a lot of trouble having a little freedom to date. I am not saying your daughter is at all like me, I just wanted you to know where the little bit of dating freedom got me in 7th grade. Maybe you and your husband can sit down and set boundaries for dating since we can't stop our kids from being attracked to boys and liking them, that is so normal, it now what they do with that that matters. Best of luck to you. I am holding on for dear life, thankfully I will depend on God's guidance and wisdom to get us through. You sounds like a wonderful Mom, your doing a great job!

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I have a 12yo who wants to go on dates as well. Absolutely not is my answer. I've told her that she is welcome to have her friends, including boys come over to hang out or for dinner or something (bedroom doors must remain open if a boy is with), but she 86ed that idea. Told her I'm fine with her going in a large groop to the movies (say 5 or 6 people), but 3 or 4 seems to small (3 because, it's just adding someone so she can go on the date, and 4 because then its just a double date). Even with the larger groups, I have to meet everyone, and I drive to and from the movies. Stay if I think its needed. Although, she hasn't decided that this is a good idea either, so has decided to wait a little longer. I'm sure it will be brought up again in a year or so. I say, no real dates till High School, and then only to the school dances or chaperoned dates, until 16. Even then, we still have to meet anyone she is considering dating. I got the silent treatment for a day or so last time she was told no to the date thing. It's just them being mad. They'll get over it, eventually :)

I worked in a clinic when I was 18 doing medical records, and as much as we would like to think that our children will make good choices, and we want to trust them, you just never know how things can go. We had so many young 12 & 13 yo girls come into that clinic pregnant, that it was really scarry. Good girls, you wouldn't have thought they would beup to things so grown up yet, but things happen and you just can't be too careful.

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I think that the proper dating age depends a lot on the maturity of the child. Have an open conversation with her and see what is going on inside her head. At age 13 kids really need a strong parent but they also need a parental figure that is willing to love and accept them unconditionally. My daughter had a boyfriend when she was in seventh grade. He would come over to the house a lot but I was always very open with my daughter and told her ANYTHING she wanted or needed to know. I work on a school bus and one year we were doing a jr. high run and one of the girls was so so boy crazy. All she would ever talk about is "he thinks I am hot and he thinks I am hot!" I told my friend that I wish I was her mother so I could tell her that they will tell you whatever you want to hear to get in your pants!

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For us, group dates like what you described at 16 and single dates at 18.

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Not without a parent before age 16. The parent need not be breathing down their necks, but close enough. Those were the rules for me and what I will employ with my children.

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Josh McDowell's book Why Wait had results from a study about the percentages of teens who lost their virginity before HS graduation. Those who began dating at 12-13 years had the highest rates of having had premarital sex, whereas those who began at 16-17 had the lowest.

You're parents doing the right thing. Life experience and logic (two things that adolescents do NOT have) are driving your actions as parents, as they should. Because they do not have the big picture, kids will "hate you" for pretty much anything that squelches their fun at the moment. Guess what, though: they get over it. Caving for no better reason than not wanting to be glared at creates brats.

Hold your ground on the things that matter - I'd say this does just because it opens the door to pretty major decisions that can have lifelong consequences.

GOOD LUCK!!

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My daughter was 13 for her first date. At this age, it's not really much different than going to a movie with a friend. They might hold hands, maybe a little kiss.

You've raised her, instilled your beliefs and morals in her. Now it's time to trust that she can make good choices. If you've got a good line of communication with her, you can trust her to come to you if things get too grown up.

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I let my daughter date at 14. That doesn't have to be right for you. However, you may want to find ways that she can spend time with the "boyfriend" such as inviting him along on family outings, inviting him to dinner, and when you do feel it's the right time for dating, group dates are actually a good way to start!

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I haven't read all of the comments on here. I'm sure you've already gotten a lot of great advice. That being said, here's my 2 cents :)

If you hadn't already established dating rules prior to this incident I can see where she would be very frustrated. It had never been brought up before that she was too young, now all of a sudden when she's actually asking that's when you decide to make up the rules? Not very fair for her. To help mend that part of it I would talk with your husband, decide together what is ok and not ok for her to do (dating wise) at 13, 14, 15, ect. and then sit down with her and explain your decision/expectations. First, I would start off with appologizing for the miscommunication on what the guidlines were and that they were never clearly expressed to her. Then proceed with telling her what you and your husband have agreed was appropriate going forward.
As far as the movie thing, I agree with others that if they are going in a big group of friends its ok (as long as they are going to an age appropriate movie of course) If it makes you uncomfortable because they want to go alone maybe your rule will be you have to be with. You don't have to sit with them but you need to be in the theater with them. Or maybe you go together but you and your husband go to a different movie and meet them in the lobby when your movies are done. If you decide you are just not ready for this explain that to your daughter, give her all the reasons why you think she's not ready and why you're not ready. Don't just tell her she can't do something and not explain why. That's when she'll just get mad and rebel!
You also have to come to terms with the fact that she is growing up. It will probably just as hard when she's 16 and goes on her first date as it is now. Letting go is just a part of the process of growing up. No one said it would be easy.

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If she had said I am going with a small group of friends and had not called it a date would you have let her go? I would just drop off and pick them up, they cannot drive anyway, and let them have fun. I would also have a talk with my daughter about what expectations different people can have when they go out. She might want to laugh and feel included, he may want to get in her pants. My 13 year old goes out but with groups of girls, or they have sleep overs at each others houses with parents present. I am hoping this girlie phase lasts another 10 years, lol! I will be interested to read what others say, but my philosophy is that we have to start taking off the training wheels a bit at a time since at 18 she can legally do what she wants, so the next 5 years are all about teaching her to be independent but with a safety net and LOTS of talks about consequences.

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In my opinion, 13 is too young. There is really no right age over 13. YOU need to decide based on what YOU and Dad want, how responsible and mature your daughter is and if she is respectful. It would also be on based grades at school.

I wasn't allowed to go on my first date alone until I was 16 and I will enforce the same with my daughter. I certainly would never let her bully or guilt me into changing my mind. I make the rules. She needs to abide by them. Period.

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My stepson had a "girlfriend" but we don't know much about her because they dated at his mom's house. They were 13 and broke up b/c her parents didn't approve (it was racial, not that he's a bad kid).

I think that if you aren't sometimes hated by your kids, you aren't doing your job. I'd talk to her about this - why she wants to date so young, why she is so upset with you, etc. I wouldn't want my daughter out on a double date, either, but we did allow our now-16 yr old out on group outings in the 14 yr old age range. If you think she'd go anyway or feel like compromising, YOU go WITH them and not drop them off. We've told the kids that anybody worth dating is worth introducing to your parents.

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Nope - but then again we are a little on the "off" side as far as stuff like that goes. I won't go into too much detail here but we support courtship as opposed to dating - there is a difference, I promise :-) Also, it works...I've seen it in young people today. We want better for our kiddos & the choices my hubby & I each made when we were younger were not the best. Some of those choices had lasting effects - not necessarily physical but emotional & phsycological.
Just food for thought: a good friend of mine believes that dating is a precursor to divorcing, makes sense if ya think about it...

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Well, you can offer to go with them to the movies and sit a few rows behind them. Offer to drive them to a restaurant and sit with your hubby at a different table. At least you can keep and eye on them the whole time and they can still enjoy each other's company. They can have a little space, but not total freedom to be off on their own.

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It is ok to get those hated looks and be on their list for sticking to your guns. Compromising might work some too by having her ask her boyfriend and some other friends to your house for pizza and movies. While you raised your daughter and you trust her to follow the morals and beliefs you installed in her, she is a child and giving into peer pressure is a real threat to those morals. Another compromise would be that you take them to the movie and you pick them up and you may even sit in the back of the theater, if you feel nessessary. At 13 my daughter wasn't interested in dating, she was still shy enough that she didn't want to have much to do with it. At 13 my youngest son had a girlfriend and one day in his laundry I found condoms, so don't always believe a 13 year old boy won't try something. Even raised in the same family, kids are different.

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Nope. Too young. I have a 22-year-old and 13-year-old. We let our older daughter go on "group" dates when she was in high school.

Endure the stares. You are right. This won't be her last boyfriend I promise you. It's not good to encourage them to pair off at this age. And if you allowed a double date, you'd be encouraging that.

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What if you did supervised dates, you and your husband go to the movies with them and sit a few rows back. Tell her if she wants to date like an adult then she needs to earn your trust. I think 13 is too young to go alone, so supervised would be a compromise between the both of you. My brother is 15 and his gf's father won't let her come over to visit without my mom supervising, even though Im 23, in nursing school and with a baby. Im sure the baby thing freaks him out but it goes to show other parents are still supervising.

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I've allowed my kids to go to the movies in mixed company. My daughter and son both had friends of the opposite sex. My son is 15 and has LOTS of girls who are friends, but none that he "likes" or wants as a girlfriend.
He has plenty of girls who like him, but he's just not into it. Yet. Thank goodness.
Also, fortunately, he has known kids who were allowed to "date" as early as 12. He thinks it's stupid. The kids are boyfriend/girlfriend for about 3 days and then they're "going out" with someone else. It really is ridiculous.
You can't stop your daughter from liking boys, but a double date at 13?
All I know is that once you start allowing something, it's hard to go backwards after that.
Some of my very best friends were boys. But I was scared to death of a boy "liking" me. When I was 14, a boy came over to ask me to an 8th grade dance and I locked myself in the bathroom for two hours. Don't get me wrong, I went to every dance and danced with my friends who were boys. I wanted no part of the courtship thing.
I was a late bloomer. :)

If you say no to this, just be assured it won't be the last thing your daughter gets mad at you about. She'll live. So will you.

Best wishes.

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My daughter's not there yet; but we'll more than likely stick w/ what my dating age was waaaay back when: 16. Endure the stares; someday she'll thank you -- or at least understand! :)

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hhhmmm...so I read all the responses and they are all great. My concern when my daughter was 13 (we did allowed "group" movie dates) I didn't want her to sneak around. I hoped she would be open and honest with us..but if she was sneaking she wouldn't/couldn't be. When this dating issue came up my husband and I discussed it at length of course dad was like "not til she's 20". During the conversation we starting talking about all the stuff "we got away with" even at that age. We had , and still do she's almost 20 now,rules no bedroom with the door closed, no pda's, stuff like that. I guess our thinking was getting used to the water a little at a time over the years is better for them than being thrown in the deep end all at once. If I had it to do over I'd do it the same way. She is an independent smart women and she has NO Problem telling boys she dates to back off or take a hike. Good Luck!

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i met my husband at this time, sex was not far after that.

If that helps

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I guess I'd be in the same boat as you guys!! lol My daughter is 10 and has no interest in boys like that yet (knock on wood!) but I would have said no too. I don't know what the 'right' age is either, I think it depends on the kids really and how well they can handle themselves. My daughter did go to the movies with a boy last fall-kinda. He was on her soccer team and his mom worked at the theater on base so she invited her to come and watch the movie and hang out at the theater with her son. It was a kid type movie so I went as well with my 4yr old and let them sit towards the front. A bunch of their friends ended up showing up so all the kids sat in the same area while us parents sat further back with the younger kids.

So maybe you could compromise with her, she can go to the movies but you or your hubby can sit in the seats right behind them!! lol

What ever you do, stand your ground and keep your beliefs, she'll live and life will go on :)

S.

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You made a good choice. No dating at 13!
My oldest son is 13 and had a girl "ask him out" (of course they're in 7th grade, there is no going anywhere). They were "going out" for a couple of weeks before we found out about it, but we immediately put a stop to it. We explained to him that this behavior is not appropriate at his age, and then had a good long talk about what we believe in our house.
We also spoke to the teacher who had a meeting with the kids about this type of inappropriate behavior. As you can tell I take this stuff very seriously. If you allow children to date at such a young age, then at 15-16 they will feel like a grown up and feel justified in having sex.
Help her enjoy being a kid, she's not old enough for "love stuff". Kids don't have the coping mechanisms to deal with things like break-ups, and cheating. A kid doesn't know how to handle a broken heart. That's why there are so many suicide attempts in young teenagers.

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I didn't let my kids date until they were 16. I don't think there's anything wrong with supervised get-togethers (ie. birthday parties) with boys and girls, but I personally would not let my 13 year old go to on a date without an adult present.

Oh, by the way, I was a teen whose parents trusted and I totally abused it. I had a boyfriend at the age of 14 and was 2 months pregnant when I turned 16. I completely used that experience as an example for my older kids - while all my friends were out having fun, I was home with my baby. I didn't get to go to prom or graduate with my class because I had to go to night school since I had no babysitter, etc. Both of them grew up to be responsible adults and did not follow in my footsteps.

I'm certainly not saying that all kids who are allowed to date end up pregnant. Some are definitely more responsible than I was. I really believed that I was in love with the boy (my first and we did eventually marry) and the closer we got, well it was just a natural progression.

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I had a bf at 15 that would come and visit on my porch or living room couch only, we didnt start going to get a bite to eat or a soda til 16. let her hate you, the earlier the exposure the more she'll want to do before its appropriate.i believe this includes wearing makeup, shaving, hair dye, nails etc. it gives them a false sense of maturity...dont explain yourselves and just let it lye. the more you talk the more she'll think its worthy of being discussed. minimize it for now.

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I would let her invite him to birthday parties etc but dating heck no. You need to explain to her that she is only 13. She shouldn't be interested in relationships. And boys that young change their mind so often and break girls hearts left and right because they are changing emotionally as well as physically. He might think he really likes her or even loves her and then a few weeks later meet some girl at the movies or something. I've had my heart broken so much as a naive teen adolescent girl and I know how boys are at those ages. Tell her she can be friends with him but explain to her if he really likes her then a few years from now he can ask her out again when she's old enough to date. If you don't allow any contact with him then yes she'll hate you and rebel and not listen to anything you say on the subject of boys again.

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I also have a 13 year old girl, she is not dating but I know she start liking boys. I also know that most of her friends also like other boys and some are dating already. My husband and I are just hoping that she understand that she still have so much time for that and that she should enjoy what is left of her childhood. Then again, when I was 13 I did had a boyfriend, kind of. We never went out and barely talked in the phone, we just eat together at lunch, lol.
I never told my mom because I knew she would have get mad at me.
So on that said it is very nice that your daughter trust you.
I agree with other moms, 13 is too young, we are not ready emotionally and boys are either,they also tend to be very dramatic and play Romeo and Juliet if you say no, and oh yeah, lots of stares, lol.
I wouldn't allow her to go in a date group but I will point out that I am proud she told me the true and make a movie night in my own house and invite some of her friends, including the boy.
I would ask my daughter to treat that boy as a friend for a little longer and just keep the conversation open and respectful.

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Rent the movie Dan in Real Life--It will help you laugh at this situation!!!! I say stick to your guns--especially considering you are laying out the standard for the next 5-6 years. If you give in about this now, it will be easier for her to think she'll get her way about curfews, boys in her room, etc... Good luck. But seriously, having three girls myself, Dan in Real Life, hit home so bad. My husband and I laughed so hard we cried.

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Eh. Devil's advocate for just a moment: they aren't really alone. They are on a double date at a movie theater with people there. I was "going with" a guy at 12 for awhile. Not gonna lie, we both WANTED something to happen, but honestly, the opportunity never really came up. Thank goodness, though we're still friends now, 23 years later. He was smart/polite enough to knock on the door and ask mom if he could take me for a walk around the block (mom liked that, and she had him sit in the kitchen while she went to tell me he was there, and what he'd said.....and informed me that it takes about 7 minutes to walk the block at a leisurely pace so don't mess up this opportunity to build trust). We'd walk the block and talk, and that was cool, and we behaved because there are neighbors everywhere. We swam at the neighborhood pool every single day with all our friends and life guards, but again, it was a huge group thing. It was fun, but safe. I knew not to leave the pool area without calling mom (back then, it was the life guard's land line). If I broke a rule, I understood that would put me several steps backwards with trust. By the time I was 13 I was able to go to the mall with girl friends but not a boy. Mom was around, but out of sight, and we were "grown" and shopped around and acted stupid as that age does, but didn't get into trouble. We'd hit the arcade and "meet up" with a couple boys there to play, but again we weren't ever alone. Mom was friendly and in contact with my best friend's mom, she knew my friend very well from tons of sleep overs, so she understood that we weren't bad influences on each other. I think you do need to not just listen to your children's friends when they're talking to you, but even more so watch their actions and words when they're NOT talking to you. You'll be able to judge who you can trust to be around your daughter as she's branching out with new steps of independence. My boys will be able to have friends, but I'll be picky on who they can actually be alone with, and who needs to remain supervised a little more. That's just life. We used to go to a dance once a month at a church hall but it wasn't a date. Girls would go with girls, guys with guys, and there were chaperones around. We'd just get dropped off and picked up later. But my first "date" was the 7th grade dance. We didn't go together, but it was known we would meet there. Again, chaperoned, and loads of friends around. That was really fun. After that, mom would let us have movie night at her house. 2-3 boys, 2-3 girls, and we'd make pizzas and watch movies (Indiana Jones, Lost Boys, etc) with popcorn and sodas, it was fun. Kinda laid back, but cool to be together. I don't remember seeing mom, but I KNOW she and dad were around and aware of all. When I was in 8th grade, she would drop us off for double dates. Again, it wasn't an age thing, but a progressive thing where I consistently showed good choices and maturity, and she always made it clear to not mess up the opportunity. She'd drop us off at a 50's style malt shop, and she'd be in the car outside reading a book. We could eat and have a good time, but needed to keep an eye on the time ourselves so we could get back to the car and she'd drive us to the movies. She says now that she always let us go but it was to a pretty new release, a popular "big" movie insuring there'd be plenty of people there. Pretty smart, but I wouldn't have really thought to go to an empty movie. I don't know what she did while we were at the movie or where she was, but she'd be really nice and park in a certain place where we had to walk to meet up with her (so we wouldn't be embarassed with her right at the door). I think you can let her have a life and PRACTICE under your supervision. That way when she hits some magic number, she's not just on her own and in more trouble than she would have been if she'd eased into it. That was mom's theory at least, and I'm going to stick with it for my boys too. (But for the record: little town fairs at night are so off limits!) This is long, but I think this was the best way to parent: it's not permissive, but it's structured and built some trust and dialogue on both sides. Mom would say something like "Ok, I'm not going to embarass you in front of your friends IF you remember ___ " (whatever the instructions were). And she was always around, though I wasn't really aware of her, because I remember her asking questions about the way someone was acting or whatever. I felt safe talking to her and asking questions, just part of the mutual trust built. She wasn't the enemy. If a privilege was removed, it was my bad choices. (Not to say I was always perfect or I was always pleased with her---SO not true...we were normal. But I really liked her theory on TEACHING and TRAINING me under her watch rather than waiting til I'm big and then setting me free.

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I do not think you were wrong. I might (*might*) be willing to say "yes" under the following circumstances:

At least 6 kids go -- Making it more of a group outing vs a double date

Someone's parents act as chaperons by going to the movie too (sitting a few rows away) and making sure all kids get dropped off/checked in by their parents.

The movie choice has all parents' stamp of approval.

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I was just talking to my husband about this last night. I think 13 is way too young for kids to start dating. There is just no reason for them to be pairing off at this age, it's not like it helps them later in life and in my opinion probably hinders in some ways because they are focused on things other than school, family, sports etc. and the sooner they start dating I think the sooner they are likely to become involved in sexual relationships.
I didn't date until I was 17. I don't regret it at all. My parents probably would have allowed me to date around 15 or 16, but I didn't ask until a bit later, so it wasn't much of an issue.
I think Dawn B. had good suggestions. Don't give in to the death stares, stay strong.

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I went on my first date at 14 and most of my friends were already dating. And none of us ended up pregnant, we all finished high school on time and all went on to college. Thirteen seems a little young but 16 seems very late to me.

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I was 16 before my mom would let me date. I did the same thing with my boys. Once you are old enough to drive you are also presumed old enough to have enough common sense to date. I would make 16 the magic number. It makes the sweet 16 birthday all the more special.

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My daughter recently turned 14 and had a boyfriend. I found it best to encourage the relationship. He could come over to our house when hubby or I were home. She went over to his house once, when his parents were home. The only "date" they ever went on was to the park with other friends.

She quickly learned that having a "boyfriend" wasn't all that great. He wanted her attention most of the time and would get upset if she didn't call or unavailable when she called. She realized that having a life was better than having a boyfriend.

For now, I just keep encouraging the group activities.

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My kids did the group thing (bunch if girls and boys met up at the mall, theater, skating rink etc) till they hit 16 then real dates. the only exception to that was when they hit highschool they were allowed to go to dances but my husband and I or other parents did the driving both ways. now did they have girlfriend / boyfriend. yes but were they allowed to date nope. we also endured the dark looks, and heavy sighs. but she will get over it.

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I would consider offering to go along as a chaperone, and a ride to and from???

Well if they go as a group I feel it's okay. It also depends on the attitude, are they "boyfriend" or a friend that happens to be a boy. My son had a girlfriend at 13, but at the that point she was a friend that happened to be a girl. As they got older it became more boyfriend/girlfriend. They have done prom and homecoming and are not good buddies and both 16.
S.

I had my first boyfriend at 12.
We would hold hands, walk to the bus together, play basketball in my driveway, his parents would order us pizza and leave us alone in their downstairs movie-theatre-like-living-room and let us watch movies, we would make out on their couch, LOL
My mom was fine with it to my knowledge, we dated for a year.
He was 2 years older than me, I was in 6th grade, he was in 8th.
I think that I will be ok with it as long as my daughter is in middle school and so is the boy (or girl), no middle schooler dating a high schooler situation.
But, yes, at 13, I would be fine with a double date at a public place like the movies.
And what if your daughter, any of you moms here who said its too young, had just said, "Mom, a group of us want to go see a movie, is that ok?" And the group was a mix of guys and girls... would you say they were to young? I don't see the difference, should be happy she was honest and asked....

13 is way too young for a double date.I would tell her she could go if you could schaparone it but sit a row or two back from them so you can still keep an eye on them.If she does not like that then oh well!!I did not date until i was like 16 -17.Good luck!

A group date would be okay to me. Kids are growing up so fast these days. I don't know if a double date qualifies as a group date. Feel better that she asked you if was okay. She and her girlfriend asked if it was oaky, they could have agreed to meet the boys there and told you they were going to a movie together, and not have mentioned the boys.

Oh my goodness, 13 is way too young to be going out on a date. i personally do not have teenagers yet but when I was a teenager I couldn't date till I was 16 and then my parents still had problems with it. At 13 they have really have no idea what a relationship is really about. I would say hanging out in your presence would be fine as friends but thats just way too young. And her being upset with you, It will pass. You just need to ride out the storm. I hope it all works!

At 13, I had no problem with dropping my daughter and her boyfriend at a movie and picking them up afterward.

I think 16 is reasonable. I don't have teens yet seeing as my son is almost a year old and his little brother due in May. I had bf's in high school but they were only the kind of bf's I sat at lunch with, talked to on the phone ect. I didn't have my first bf until I was 18 and that was because he was 23. And I can safely say he was also the one I lost my virginity to. 13 is way to young to be letting go out on double dates or any dates. I would fear that things would get hot and heavy without adults there to watch. I am really glad I don't have any girls so I don't have to worry about that, my only problem is I have to worry about my boys getting someone pregnant....ugh.. Don't feel bad for your decision, the death glares will go away and later on she'll thank you. hahahaha. :) Good luck.

did you ever think of allowing them to go but going with them sitting with them

I'm with you T.. 13 is much to young to date. 16 was the magic number for me and it is as well for my daughters. I have an almost 17 year old who has gone on one date. She is very mature and is more interested in school and learning than boys. She says how immature the boys in school are and can't stand the horseplay. Her date (I drove her) was for breakfast in a nearby community with her best friend from kindergarten. He moved away at semester in kindergarten and they have remained friends all these years. He was in the vacinity to see his grandparents and had a morning free. It was the first time they had actually seen eachother since 1st grade. As they've gotten older, they email or facebook more than write letters. He now lives about 7 hours away but they have still remained friends. She has asked him to Prom, and he said yes. She would probably have gone stag had he not said yes. My almost 15 year old recently helped organize a dance at school and said how many of the kids were upset that they couldn't bring their (dates) because they didn't attend our school. She commented that Middle School is too young to date. I wouldn't allow the "date" to happen. There are so many more years to grow, mature and have fun. Encourage her to be a child while she can because being an adult is not always fun and games.

I did a double take when I read this, because my 13 year old son has a girlfriend, whose mom's name is T., with whom he eats lunch and talks/texts.

However, they have already gone on their first date, to a movie, on President's Day, with both families' approval. Her family dropped them off, went to do errands, and then picked them up and brought our son home.

I went on my first official date right after 8th grade ended; our son's first official date was in the winter of 8th grade, so not that much sooner. We think that he can handle it, and I guess the other T. thought her daughter could, too.

But if you're not comfortable with it, you don't have to allow it. You're her parent and you get to decide what is best for her.

In my experience, the younger a person starts dating, the younger they get into relationships and can go too far. It's better to be friends first anyway.

Our rule is 16. Even though our oldest is no where near there (12 now), we've already mentioned it, because she does have older cousins who are dating. Hopefully if the issue comes up in the next few years, she won't be surprised!

neither one of my kids were allowed to date until they were 16-they could go to group functions-but no dating-she will get over it-good luck

I don't have teens yet, but they will NOT be dating at 13.

We don't allow our children to have boyfriends/girlfriends until age 16. But if I were in your situation, I'd probably tell my daughter to knock off the attitude or she'll be grounded from phone/text for a bit. =) Good luck!

I have a 13 year old son who is going on his first date with a 12 year old who is also going on a first date.

Please know that I am as "freaked" out as you are. What is the right age? I feel I come from a different world, I don't really know what age is appropiate for dating? I am guessing it depends on the teen and the parents.

I hope I have taught my son how to behave, I am not concerned about this.

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