67 answers

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!!

1 mom found this helpful

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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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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.

4 moms found this helpful

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.

3 moms found this helpful

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.

2 moms found this helpful

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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...


8 moms found this helpful

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.

7 moms found this helpful

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.

7 moms found this helpful

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!

6 moms found this helpful

She's too young. -Endure the stares!

5 moms found this helpful

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. :)

5 moms found this helpful

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.

4 moms found this helpful

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

4 moms found this helpful

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