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"Parents can be so uncomfortable with the idea of their kid becoming more grown up -- we wish our kids could stay kids," Atkins says."The problem with that attitude is that your kid still is a kid.And he or she needs your guidance and support right now." You don’t want them learning the rules of dating from peers or the media, without your input.The more you talk to your kids about what it means to be in a healthy relationship, the more likely they are to experience that, whenever they start dating."Most of the activity happens in a pack, and communication takes place between friend groups." By 8th grade, dating probably means talking on the phone and hanging out, usually in groups.By high school, kids are more likely to develop serious romantic attachments.
If you have a history of getting confrontational or getting into arguments with others, dating someone with a child may not be a good idea. Parents may joke that it’s an experience they want their child to have -- just not until somewhere around the age of 30. A 6th grade girl may say, "Jacob is my boyfriend," but what does that mean?Seriously, though, when is your child ready to date? "At this age, kids use dating labels but aren’t ready to have much direct one-on-one interaction beyond maybe sitting together at lunch or recess," says Dale Atkins, Ph D, a family therapist in New York.Right off the bat, there are many reasons why it’s not ideal to date someone with a child.After all, it’s not just the fact that you have to make it work with the person you’re dating and the child that comes along with him or her, but you also have to deal with the ex who is the other parent to that child.
“Of course it will probably be uncomfortable for both of you,” Anthony says.