13 Year Old Boy and "Dating"

Updated on April 06, 2013
C.O. asks from Reston, VA
30 answers

My son, just newly turned 13, wants to take a girl to the movies. At FIRST it was a basketball game at the school. Now, it's the movies. I told him the only way he would be allowed to go to the movies, is if his father or I went with him. He freaked.

I don't know the girl. I don't know her parents. And REALLY???! I can't see her parents allowing her to go to the movies with a boy at 13. I wasn't allowed to date until 16.

I'm okay with the basketball game. I'm OKAY with the movie as long as my husband or myself are there. He's a good kid....not a bad student...A - B grades (although this last quarter wasn't that great!) and in honors classes....

I'm not one for keeping up with the Jones' and I don't subscribe to the "everyone else is doing it" either. So when he pulled that "card" on me - I said - ooh my word! Absolutely not!! I put it back on him - if everyone were jumping off the roof or a bridge - would you be doing it too?

IF you have teenagers - what are the rules in your house? Do you allow "dating"? If so - what age?

Yes, we have dropped our kids off at the movie theater (my girlfriend's son works there - so they really aren't alone) and picked them up afterwards - but it's always been a group of boys...not mixed...and his hormones seem to be a tad "More"....

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?


We talked things over and I expressed my concerns and our rules. He understands our desire to meet her and her parents. I've met his other FRIENDS parents, right? aaahhhh okay...the light bulb came on for him.

He now understands no one-on-one dating until 16. Group outings are fine and parental supervision is a must.

Featured Answers



answers from San Francisco on

I would personally let a thirteen year old boy take a girl to the movie theater. I would drop them off and pick them up, and not feel like I needed to be present.

I don't understand forbidding this. But that's just me. I'm in the minority, as I see from reading below.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

This came up a month or so ago with my son. He wanted to take his gf to the movies. Originally it was going to be with another couple but they had to back out. He still wanted to go. My response (and her parents response) was to either go with a group or a parent had to go. We would sit behind them a couple of rows but they weren't allowed to go by themselves. They are too young to date. They ended up going to the school dance instead !

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

OH MY GOSH a teenage boy wants to go to the movies with a teenage girl!!
I've never heard of such a thing. Yes, professional help will be needed. LOL
The great thing is he talked to you about it. Many would have just said, can you drop me off, I'm meeting Jose and Bob.
Would he settle for a mixed group of 13 yr olds going to movies?

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Washington DC on

so have them add a couple of friends and let them go as a group.
my son has had the same GF since he was 13 and she was 11. they're 22 and 20 now, and beyond sensible rules about sleeping arrangements (sleepovers happened frequently but separate rooms, of course), we didn't have a ton of rules or micromanagement.
at that age they did lots of 'date' stuff, but it was generally in a herd.
there's almost certainly a reasonable compromise here that doesn't involve belittling his intelligence (the bridge canard is way wore out.)
would you be okay going to the movies but actually seeing a different one?
would he agree to you seeing the same movie they're seeing if you sit far away?
i think it's very important at this age to let budding adults experience what it's like to be trusted as well as to be monitored. so much of what i read about parenting young teens is about how to control them.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

I didn't have a problem with dropping my daughter and a boy at the moives at that age.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I was allowed to go on a "date" in 8th grade. His parents picked us up and dropped us off at the movie theater. We saw Jurassic Park and actually watched (most of) the movie. His parents picked us up after the movie at the ice cream shop next door. My parents are super conservative, but allowed us to go because we were both good kids and were essentially chaperoned.

You are either going to allow this or not, but please don't make the contingency that you go with him. You either trust your son to make a good choice or you don't.

PS: If he wants to make out with this girl, it's going to happen whether you allow this movie thing or not. This is something that I recall my mother telling my father when I was in HS and it was genius. He didn't want me going out with a Senior when I was a Sophomore. I remember her telling him (I was in another room) that they had raised me with a good head on my shoulders and a strong sense of right and wrong. If I was going to do something stupid, it wouldn't matter if I had their permission or not. Better that they allow it with their guidance (and getting to know him) than restrict it and be kept in the dark. For what it's worth that "older guy" is still a very close friend of the family and has dinner with my parents (and his wife and son) whenever they are in town.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

I say group gatherings are required. So if he wants to take his girl to the movies, the requirements are:

1. You and your husband meet her parents and ensure that they are okay with their daughter dating.

2. You meet the girl.

3. He attend with at least 2 other "couples" that you and your husband have met.

4. They not leave the group at any time.

He sounds like a good kid, with a good head on his shoulders....so be careful about implying otherwise. But hormones....ugh.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I was really impressed with the rules of one family I grew up with. There were no restrictions on what age you could have boy friends or girlfriends, but they were only allowed to spend time together as part of the other person's family functions until age 16. They could not be alone. I thought this was great because it forced them to get to know one anothers families. I think this is especially important for the boy to be acquainted with the girl's family, so he learns a healthy respect for the father and doesn't easily fall into the trap of objectifying women but truly sees her as someone's daughter. (not that your son would do that, just speaking in generalities).

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

Where I'm from dating starts at 12. At least it used to when I was a kid. It was all pretty innocent, holding hands in public places with groups of friends, and talking on the phone for hours. The average "relationship" lasted about two weeks. We went to movies, roller skating, dances etc. I can't imagine they can get into any trouble getting dropped off at the movies. My son is turning 11 soon, and he is going to dances. A couple of his friends have "girlfriends". They will be in middle school in the fall, so I do expect that the dating issue will come up soon.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

My son is 13 and I would never go with him and a girl. I would tell him to make it a group thing and drop them off. My son has gf s but I would never allow him to be alone with her. They only last a day or two with him anyway! lol
I agree he is to young. I go a step further also, when a group of friends go over another friends house, especially a girl .... I make sure a parent is home. He is not to go to anyone's home without a parent being home.
I let my oldest children start dating when they were 16. My older son was sneaky and did date before 16. My daughter did not, I kept her very busy!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I'd talk to her parents.
Then I'd insist on a "group" outing.
A couple of boys, a couple of girls....

You've already told him the conditions. I guess he can take it or leave it.
Your house, your kid, your rules.

IF you insist on going along, consider seeing a different movie, at least!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Our 13 yr old boy and our 13 yr old girl are just now acknowledging the opposite sex. So this will be new territory to us as well.
At 13 I was dropped off at the movies with a girl, that was 1982 so.....
I will follow your post to see the thoughts on it.
Oh, and when you dropped him off at the movies before with a 'group of boys'... I can assure you there were some girls close by ;)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Rockford on

My son is also a new 13 yr old...he looks about 16 though! He has a girlfriend who is a yr older (so she is actually my daughters age and they are in classes together.) I do let them hang out...at the Y, they have hung out here at my house w/someone else always around. He went to youth group at church w/ her last night. As to the movies, I would agree w/ you. And I am constantly reminding him of what behavior I expect and how he needs to be respectful not only of himself and her, but of others who are around. No PDA, no posting pictures of things that no one needs to see, like making out, etc. (not that he's at that point yet, but it's never to early to teach them!)

I think you are doing fine...if he wants to hang out w/ her badly enough, he's going to do it on your terms.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

My almost 14 year old has gone "out" to the movies, and ice cream or smoothies, in mixed boy/girl groups, a few times this school year (8th grade.) We have also had a few groups over for pizza and movies on Fridays after school. Our town is super small so it's pretty easy to keep an eye on them. I can literally spy on them from the hardware store across the street!
But kids around here seem to prefer to "date" in groups, even in high school. The only time my older kids had real one on one dates was when they went to formal dances, and even then it was usually 3 or 4 couples going together. The first time my son took a girl out on a real date he was a freshman in college.
So, I guess my answer is, I have never had a certain age requirement, more of a comfort level. Luckily my kids have never challenged me on it, though if my youngest wanted to go out alone with a boy I would say no, and probably tell her not until she's 16.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

My rule (same as I grew-up with) is no one-on-one dating until 16. Before that, can go out in groups. I think many times, restricting that you CANNOT have a bf/gf just means they won't tell you. I've told my 15 yo daughter that as long as she talks to me and is honest I'll trust her. She's had one slip where she wasn't where she was supposed to be and I figured it out before she had the chance to tell me.
Part of the 16 yo rule for me is that I want them to have control over where they are with a driver's license.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

My son is not allowed to date till he's 16.
(And by date - I mean one on one going out as a couple dating.)
And if, when he gets there, he doesn't want to - that's fine with me.
It's ok to go to a game with a group of friends.
I was older than 16 when I started dating and it was common and expected that one or more parents (and/or siblings) might come along to game/movie/restaurant/what ever.

My philosophy of dating:
A long process by which you find out what you like in a person and more importantly - what you don't like - for the purpose of eventually finding a permanent mate.
It's expected that my son will play the field - date many people - no exclusive relationships - at least until he's a senior in high school and quite possibly into college (maybe beyond).
ANY push for 'exclusivity' early on is a clear signal to 'run like the wind'.
When he thinks he's found someone who's right for him and he feels he's done looking - THEN they can decide to become exclusive (not date other people anymore) and start thinking about where the relationship is going.
People do still breakup sometimes at this stage.
If things progress, an engagement and marriage will follow through (no sooner than his mid 20's and some guys are in their early 30's before they are ready to settle down).

I've been open and have explained it many times since my son turned 10 - so we are on the same page with expectations.

So far (my son is 14 and in 8th grade) - he has no desire to date.
He's seen what some of his friends go through and the resulting inevitable drama when they break up and at this point he wants no part of it.
If people were friends before they were girlfriend and boyfriend - most of the time the friendship does not survive the break up.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Wow! My granddaughter will be 13 in July. Just, wow! We've been hoping it would be a while longer before she wants to date. So far, she and her girl friends hang out with boys and girls both at school and exchange texts, all very innocent. She talks about it and let's us see her texts.

I don't know what her parents will tell her about dating. I think they're waiting until she asks about it. So far she has talked about a couple of her friends dating and turns out that in her group dating means hanging out together on the playground. Her school is K-8.

My granddaughter isn't allowed to go to the movies by herself even with just girls. The last time she asked to do that her mom and I went to the same movie and agreed to sit in a different place. She and her girlfriend came to sit with us because the movie was a bit serious. It was Les Miserables. We enjoyed watching it together. smile

Her friends parents seem to have the same requirement. Parents go too.

I agree that 13 is still too young for one on one dating. Kids are growing up too fast, anyway. Group dates maybe by 16, but I suspect I'm in the minority with that boundary.

I say, "stick to your rule."

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

My kids know that they ant date until they are 16 and, even then, we prefer they at least double date until they are out if high school. My oldest (18yo) doesn't really date all that much and his sister, who is 15, still tells me that she doesn't think boys are "cute" when I ask her if she danced with any cute boys at the church dances. LOL! Who knows what her dating experience will be like.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

No dating until you are sixteen and old enough to have your own money (earned, saved) to pay for the date. Period. End of discussion.

Up until then, group gatherings with some sort of adult supervision, maybe. Depends on the group, where they are going, etc. My son is young, but thinking back to when I was a teen, I know that dating too early just puts kids in more uncomfortable situations than they can manage on their own. (Personally, I don't want to become a grandma when he's still a teen in school, either. )

and if your son is so immature he feels 'freaked out' at the idea of your being present-- definitely NO! :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Our house, group 'dates' with a mix of boys and girls are allowed once they hit Jr. High....then single 'dates' at 16, only after we have met the other person a few times.

~Granted this has been the rule thus far but thus far we have only had boys! Our last baby was a girl and her Daddy has reserved the right to re-visit these rules when she comes of age, Ha!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Sounds good W.!
Why give them the opportunity to be bad? I know you trust him, but really what message is it sending when you say HEY don't get her pregnant, but have all the fun you want!

Dad can go but sit far away. If he doesn't like it, then he can keep it to basketball games. I think we are too lenient and trusting of teens. Studies show their brains have a hard time making correct choices. Lets try to steer them the right way, with out making them feel they have lost control as well.

I think it says "I care and I am worried about you"

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

16 dating age here. Group outings ok in middle school.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

No one on one "dating" for our 13 year old, but she is allowed to spend time in a mixed group of boys and girls. The "can I go to a movie with a boy?" question was asked when she was 12, and we told her no, she is too young for that. She can go in mixed gender groups to the local theatre or neighborhood restaurants or school games, etc. Or hang out at someone's house. That is only because I know all of us parents are on the same page. Everyone agrees that a parent MUST be at the home where the group is hanging out. I'm fine if she wants to invite a boy to go to an outing with our family, or if she is invited with someone's else's family, IF I know the parents well, and can trust they will be well supervised.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

Too young (my opinion) to be considered a "date".

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

I would tell him you need to meet this girl's parents or at least talk to them on the phone to know that they understand what's going on and find out what their rules are. You also need to meet this girl. I would tell her parents, her and your son, right now you are okay with them going places but only if at least 1 parent is with them. Can you compromise with not sitting directly with them but just near them (close enough to see that no funny business is going on)? I think your approach is reasonable but be careful being too strict. Everyone I knew growing up who had super strict parents either got pregnant as a teen or married the 1st guy that came along (a complete loser) just to get away from their strict parents. The 1 boy I knew with strict parents, pretended to be Mr. All-Star (good athlete, good grades, popular, etc.) all while sneaking out to parties, constantly smoking pot and dabbling in other drugs and slept with anything that moved from 15 on! Just food for thought.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

My son is 16 and just started going to the movies alone with his girlfriend. He is a tad behind the norm for his age bracket in the dating arena - this is only his 2nd girlfriend. The first was at age 15 and neither her parents, nor I, let them go anywhere alone together - so one of us parents, usually me, accompanied them to movies, mall shopping, etc.

At 13, I would not let mine date. And mine learned early on that "everyone else is doing it" would get a quick laugh and a resounding "No" from me.

I think you are on target with one. If he wants to "date" then it should be within the parameters that you set. And meeting the girl, and her parents, should be part of that.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I wasn't allowed to date until age 16, and we'll stick to that with our daughter. My husband and I have already decided that any interested boy who wants to date our daughter will have to go through the gauntlet before a first date is allowed -- 3 family dinners at our house. We figure that will eliminate the riff raff pretty quickly :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My son was 12 when he had his first girlfriend. He is now 14. He has never gone anywhere without a parent with any girl. He asked a few weeks ago to meet his girlfriend and several of their friends at the movies. I asked who would be taking them and staying with them. He said that they would find there own way there and it would just be the 6 or 7 of them. I said NO WAY!!!!! I told him that if another parents was going that I knew and could talk to it might be possible. But if it was just the kids that would be a HELL NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Granted I would trust him and his girlfriend there together just the two of them more than one of the boys that would have been with them. But there is still no way. I never gave my kids an age. Cause I know my parents tried to stop me from having a "boyfriend" and it just made me want one more. We tire to be have an open relationship that he can tell us when he likes a girl and how he feels. His last girlfriend he was with for about a year and a half and we did a lot with her and her family but this new one we've only seen a few times. I would not tell him he can't have a girlfriend but that they will not do stuff away from one or the others parents. That is if you trust her parents. Donavan's first girlfriend I would not have trusted either of her parents. Good luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Hi, W.:

What is the reason he wants to take a girl to the movies?

His learning to pair off so early needs to be looked into.
I think this deserves professional advice, unless you can discover what
is going on in his mind.

Good luck.



answers from Lakeland on

No dating at all until he moves out. My son is 13 and hormones are W.. He asked if he could go to the mall with his girlfriend and her parents which i don't know. I said flat out NO, we are not going to start this, your too young. Of course i got the WHY!!!! and then came the attitude, bad one. He also has a temper, i don't know if that is a teenage thing or just in his DNA. He has even asked if a girl can come over to the house, i said you lost your mind, guess the answer NO. He also has good grades. I always tell my son when he doesn't like my decsion, you will live and you only have 5 more years of my rules. So you better get a good education, your gonna need it. I don't care what age my children are they are going to respect me and abide by rules, as soon as they set foot in my house. That is how i was raised. That is the rules in my house.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions