Dating family events

Dobson’s classic discussion with author and speaker, Laura Petherbridge.She disputes the cultural ideas that single parents are failures, and why remarriage is the only sensible solution for kids.A fairly high bar stands between this phase and actual “dating,” wherein one member of the couple — usually the boy — officially asks the other out.Megan*, a senior at Myers Park High School in Charlotte, says only about 20 percent of these relationships result in an official couple.Ed Parrish, a banker and father of four from Graham, has noticed that his 13-year-old son has started asking his older sister if her friend’s younger sister can join her on visits to the Parrish home. Sometimes, his son will go to the movies with guy friends and “meet up” with a group of girls from school, Parrish says.He feels comfortable with these early forays because “we’ve given him the talk about the need to respect young ladies and what we expect of him.” What to watch for: Smartphones and social media can lay traps for preteens and young teens.

Young teens have especially fragile egos, so negative peer feedback on social media can be especially damaging.We’re learning this at the same time our children are navigating through it.” What follows is a teen dating primer to help your child — and you — forge the valley between child and young adult.It’s not unusual for sixth-graders to say, “I have a boyfriend/girlfriend.” Often these relationships develop through texting.“It’s not your parents’ dating anymore,” concedes Robin Gurwitch, a clinical psychologist at the Duke Center for Child and Family Health.“We don’t have the vocabulary and we don’t have the experiences to be able to help.

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Jennifer*, a junior at Sanderson High School in Raleigh, notes that while it’s not cool to “talk” to more than one person at a time, some people go from one talking “relationship” to another without actually dating anyone, which tends to explain the relatively low numbers of actual couples.

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