Understanding Middle School Relationships
Tips for parents to prepare for and navigate the teen dating scene. Leia Joseph , a teacher and counselor at Annapolis Area Christian School. Dating is different for a middle-school-aged teen versus an age and maturity of a teen, parents need to decide what guidelines they will set in. If you're the parent of a middle schooler and the topic of dating has come up, it probably left you fretting over questions like these: What does.
According to research, dating in middle school is tied to poor study habits and even dropping out as well as behaviors such as drinking alcohol and doing drugs.
Compared to adolescents who waited or dated early and then reversed their course in high school, early daters reported twice as much drug, tobacco, and alcohol use and dropped out of school at four times the rate. Pamela Orpinas, a child development researcher at the University of Georgia, made this startling discovery over the course of a seven-year longitudinal study where she followed more than kids in Georgia from sixth to twelfth grade.
Her study, published in the Journal of Research on Adolescence inis among the first to look at how early dating is related to school work, and the results are pretty clear: But it does, Orpinas says.
The New Rules for Teen Dating
For instance, what about so-called relationships that exist solely via text message — a trend dubbed D8-ing in a Wall Street Journal story. Are these situations, where kids text incessantly but barely utter a word to one another, count?
The only real way to find out what counts? From toas Orpinas was collecting the survey data and spotting the tie between early dating and poor study skills, she admits she forbade her daughter now in college from dating till she turned She likens it to the emotional fallout that often comes from adults dating coworkers.
It can also be a nice way to make a personal connection, learn how respectful relationships are built, and develop personal insight. Plus, remember the thrill of your first crush?
Do keep an eye out for serial relationships, though. A study from the University of Georgia found that middle schoolers who were in high-frequency or back-to-back relationships tended to be prone to higher-risk behaviors, like drinking or doing drugs, later in adolescence.
I would caution against group dating, too. It may seem like a safety net to have more tweens around, but the group mentality can quickly push boundaries. Two awkward, gawky tweens forced to think of conversation is much better than a group of tweens daring the couple to go into a closet for seven minutes. You get the point.
Teens and Dating: A Parent's Guide - ChildrensMD
Middle Schoolers On Social Media: Is This a Good Idea? If dating in middle school terrifies you, take stock of your concerns. Whenever your child wants something, he or she is more open to listening to you. Use that to your advantage. This is a good opportunity to share your valuesperspectives, and hopes.