When should I let my daughter start dating?

@golfproo (1841)
Canada
June 5, 2007 5:04pm CST
Hi everyone, I always get amazing advice from my friends on Mylot so I thought I would let you help me....once again. My daughter has started to ask me about when she is allowed to start dating. She is 13 now and going to high school next year. I think she is too young. I have always contended that she should be between 16-18 before she is allowed to date. Am I being too strict? She says I am. Her mother is not around to help me so I am on my own with this one. :( cheers,
7 people like this
25 responses
@ShawnDay (227)
5 Jun 07
Our rule is 16 for a real date, but before that they often go in groups, with an unofficial "guy or girl, I like."
1 person likes this
@golfproo (1841)
• Canada
5 Jun 07
Yes I have not even started letting my daughter out on group dates. I guess I need to consider that first...good point. cheers,
@maryannemax (12173)
• Sweden
6 Jun 07
yup. most teenagers go in groups at first. but still, it's always better to set rules... like at what time they should be at home already and that they should always make good grades in school... plus, the most important thing is, they let you know who they are going out with.
1 person likes this
@ShawnDay (227)
6 Jun 07
From our oldest on we started "pop byes" which have to be the absolute greatest parently tool ever discovered. You simply "pop by" the events, maybe a dance in Dec., a party in June...not all by any means, but enough to keep them insecure and well behaved, because this is one parent who has no fear at all of being embarassing. Just ask my oldest son who I discovered hanging out somewhere he wasn't supposed to be. I pulled the van over, got out, walked into the group and said, "son, you better come home now, you know how cranky you get if you miss your afternoon nap." He was about 16 at the time. LOL
1 person likes this
@jennybianca (12915)
• Australia
6 Jun 07
My daughter had a boyfriend two weeks after her 14th birthday. She goes to an all girls school, & met this boy via swimming training, & they share the same school bus after school. I let her go on dates. Lets be honest; they can't go anyway unless myself or this boys Father drives them. Their first date was to watch a movie at the cinema. They can't get up to much there! Most other dates have been the boy coming to our place for a roast, & they watch a DVD after. She was invited out to a restuarant with the boyfriends family. What can happen when surrounded by other family? He has three younger siblings, & my daughter has two younger siblings. At both our places they are allowed in the bedrooms alone to watch a DVD. It's a bit hard for anything to happen at his place, as his 11 year old sister thinks it's funny to spy on them. At our place, the toilet is right next door, & my 9 year old can't stop herself from bursting in to the bedroom. They did go on a bike ride together, but the boyfriends best mate was with them. And nothing can happen at swimming training, when you are swimming 100 laps. I would be a little doubtful at age 13, but only you know how mature she is. You have to start trusting your daughter at some point. Perhaps you can suggest double dates, ie, she can only go out with a boy if there is another couple present. And no much older boys.
@golfproo (1841)
• Canada
6 Jun 07
Thanks for your response Jenny, It is true that going with doubles or a group would be the best action. I do trust her...it is the others I worry about :) cheers
@maryannemax (12173)
• Sweden
6 Jun 07
my parents did not set any rule to what age i am allowed to start dating. at the age of 14, i started having my first boyfriend. but thing is, i make sure that my parents know the guy. we don't date just wherever the guy wants to. most of the time, the guy just visits me at home and watch movies together or play nintendo games (nintendo was famous back then.hehe) or play monopoly or chat or just have snacks together. after school, he just walks me home and that's just it. rules that they gave me were to always have my first priority on my studies, always have self respect, always have respect for them (my parents) and always be honest with them. my parents have an open communication with me and so, i never let their trust on me just go to waste. i had 14 boyfriends since then. i am 28 now and still single. i have my present boyfriend now and we're planning to get married in two or three years time. what i am saying is that, you don't have to be so strict with your daughter. just be there for her and set rules for her. always tell her to respect herself and respect the trust you have given her. plus, never ever end a day without talking to her. communication is always important. happy myLotting golfproo!
1 person likes this
@maryannemax (12173)
• Sweden
6 Jun 07
oh. gosh... i forgot. she's not your daughter. sorry about that. my mistake. but i know that you care for this teenager so much. well, atleast if you have time, tell her mom about the situation and maybe her mom has good inputs about this issue. if ever she is out of reach, atleast, just be there for her and treat her as your child.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Jun 07
I was allowed to date when I turned 16 and not a day sooner. I went on my first date on my birthday. I thought it was unfair or my parents until I was older. There is a lot of growing up going on. I think my parents were 100% correct and so this is the age we are sticking with for our kids.
@golfproo (1841)
• Canada
5 Jun 07
I think that is often the case that kids do not appreciate these type of decisions until they get older :) cheers,
@stephcjh (32328)
• United States
5 Jun 07
My daughter is 15 ans she thought I should let her start dating when she got to high school. I told her that she cannot go on real dates until she is at least 16 and mature enough to know responsibilities. I don't think you are being too strict at all. It is better to be safe than sorry.
@golfproo (1841)
• Canada
5 Jun 07
Thanks Steph, I am glad to know I am not alone on this :) cheers,
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
5 Jun 07
Yep, I'd say ur between a Stone and the Hard Place! Put her on Birthcontrol, know wheres she's Going, and when she'll be Home. And pick any age between 14 and 20...... Good luck with it!
@golfproo (1841)
• Canada
5 Jun 07
Birthcontrol? I am not going there! Maybe when she is 18. cheers, :)
@sunshine4 (8709)
• United States
5 Jun 07
Hi golfproo. I say stick to your gut reactions. 16 is a good age to let your daughter date. If she is going out with a bunch of friends, boys and girls, you should be ok with that but as a date one on one, I would stick with 16. I think that 13 is so young to stick these kids in high school. My 13 yr old has a 'girlfriend', but he never sees her except in school and they have never gone ' on a date'. You can only protect her for a short amount of time. Be honest with her and discuss your concerns. Maybe she is mature enough that you will bend your decision a little. I think the key is for you to keep communicating with her so you know what she is doing and with who.
1 person likes this
@golfproo (1841)
• Canada
5 Jun 07
Thank you for your response and advice. I do appreciate it as my daughter was starting to convince me that I am too strict. :) cheers,
@magikrose (5424)
• United States
5 Jun 07
It is a tough thing and I am not looking forward to it with my girls at all. 1 thing I am going to do is start small as far as the dating thing goes. At 13 why not let her go to the movies with a group and only a group of her friends. That way you can earn her trust. You drop her off and you pick her up right after the movie. As your trust builds in her you can allow her to grab a bite to eat either before or after the movie depending on the movie time.
1 person likes this
@golfproo (1841)
• Canada
5 Jun 07
Thank you...another great response. When you say a group..do you mean a mixed group..or all girls? cheers,
@easy888 (10405)
• Australia
5 Jun 07
Hello,golfproo,I think dating is not a bad thing and it is normal,when your daughter wants to date someone,that mean she is mature,dating can help her to be even maturer which is good for her development,i can understand your worry,you are afriad she has met some bad boys,therefore,it is important to know what kind of boys she is going to date with to make sure she will not fall in the wrong crowd of people.
@golfproo (1841)
• Canada
5 Jun 07
You are right Easy, it is a sign of growing maturity. I always say it is not her I worry about...it is the others. I guess I need to have confidence in how I raised her. Thanks for your advice :) cheers,
@Trace86 (5034)
• United States
5 Jun 07
It depends if she means group dates too. I started with group dates freshman year in high school. A parent would pick us up and drop us somewhere and then another would pick up and drive home. There were usually 6-8 of us. There weren't any real couples, we just sort of mingled. Alone dates came sophomore year. Again parent drop off and pick up. Junior year was car dates.
@golfproo (1841)
• Canada
5 Jun 07
Yes, the group dates seem like a good place to start. I do not like the idea of car dates however. I still think 13 is real young. cheers,
@4cuteboys (4103)
• United States
6 Jun 07
I'd say 16 for solo dates is ok, and maybe the group date type thing before that. At least I think that's what I would do! Sorry about this, I am not looking forward to when my kids are at that age and asking permission for that kind of stuff and I have boys. I can only imagine it's harder with a girl!! goodluck!
1 person likes this
@Sherry12 (2475)
• United States
6 Jun 07
I'd start letting her go places in groups of boys and girls probably now, with friends her own age. Then around 15 I'd let her start dating with another couple. It really depends on the friends and how well you know the other parents. My kids seemed to be here or at other friends houses in groups. I think the main thing is to know the other parents and keep her with kids her own age.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
5 Jun 07
when a guy will ask her for a DATE..=)
1 person likes this
@ajayrekha (491)
• India
6 Jun 07
There is no formulat for this but simply when your mom allowed you to date
@gscs1838 (1536)
• Malaysia
6 Jun 07
yeah! yeah!i believe dating should begin when a person is mature enough and actually knows the meaning of dating
@tinamwhite (3255)
• United States
6 Jun 07
Father's Helping Hands - This photo shows a father helping his child during ice skating...a father who cares is always willing to lend a hand...
I would begin with group dating....for instance taking them skating on Friday nights where they can socialize with both other boys and girls.....when my grown children were younger...I would frequently let them go skating on weekends....I would sit inside of the rink somewhere out of sight...although they knew I was there...I brought a book or my laptop and stayed busy....it allowed them to feel like they had some freedom and I was still close enough to observe occasionally...if you know what I mean... There are other activities too like bowling, or game rooms...miniature golf courses....giving them some freedom is a good thing....of course, these were privileges that they earned by keeping their rooms clean and their grades up...(or picking up after themselves in the living room....see I remembered!!)... Have fun with it.....they will see that you are making an effort....build some trust with them in these kinds of settings and when they are ready...allow small amounts of increased independence as they age and mature... I know that you will do the right thing.....your desire to be a wonderful father shows.....you have my respect, Golfproo...
@golfproo (1841)
• Canada
6 Jun 07
Thank you for your kind words. I will have to start giving my girls some more independence....bit by bit. cheers,
@MH4444 (2161)
• United States
6 Jun 07
This depends on her maturity level first. If you believe she knows how to be cautious and knows wht to do in an emergency; then when she is ready allow her to. (Meet the guy first though ;)
@monalizra (219)
• Romania
6 Jun 07
at 13 he could be mature enough, so you can give her a chance to prouve that to you. goodluck
• Italy
6 Jun 07
IMHO 14 y.o. is enoughg to date!
@majiwu (11)
• China
6 Jun 07
I quite agree with you . I am a chinese college student .In my country if a girl start dating before 18,she will undoubtedly be discriminated .Our thought is the person you marry is the man you live with all your life .I am not a obstinate man so i believe if you just encounter a person you who is worthy of your love you are correct .I think a young girl around 13 has just learn how to think and don't know what is love,what kind of man she loves and worthy of that she hasn't grow up yet .she is in the age of making mistakes .all we should do is prevent her make a mistake she will regret all her life
@AnnaB87 (761)
• United States
6 Jun 07
I do not believe that dating is healthy. Instead you may want to look into courtship. Which means you get to know the family at the same time as your daughter does. And your daughter is not left alone with a boy at all. Basically a boy may visit, but they visit with your whole family. Like for dinner then maybe board games or something like that. As for being too strict I really don't think that is possible now a days, too many teenagers and young people are dying because someone did not care enough to be more strict about who their kids were out with. Or were too busy or something. It is better to be very strict and know where your child is and what is normal behaviour for your child than it is to not know and something happen. And you need to know who your child is going out with, as much as possible. That's just my personal opinion. I mean your daughter has her whole life ahead of her, she needs to be focussing on learnng life skills, (her education, learning to cook and manage a household, care for others, learn skills that will help her later on in life).