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“Some kids never or hardly ever dated; some kids did not date during middle school and started dating during high school.Others dated all the time—or at least that’s what they reported.But unlike substance abuse and depression—the two other horsemen of a teenage apocalypse—dating and grades are easier to spot and easier for parents to talk to their kids about.“Parents need to be able to assess in middle school what type of risk taker their adolescent or young eighth grader is,” she says.Teen romance may have been dissected a million ways by popular culture, but that dubious analysis pales in comparison to a recent study that followed the arc of teen dating from grades 6 to 12.“We see four trajectories,” says Pamela Orpinas, a professor of behavioral research at the University of Georgia and the lead author of the study, which included 600 students.
I was asking typical questions like, “What’s in your i Pod’s most played list? All of a sudden, these girls were counting how many boys they “went out with” and telling me the stories of their (literally) five minute relationships.At this tender age, your child barely knows who she is and lacks the judgment to make good decisions about such a relationship.Before you allow or celebrate your middle-schooler’s boyfriend or girlfriend, consider these pros and cons of middle school romance.My daughter often gives me an update on the social goings-on in her class.Last week she said, “Did I tell you that Allie broke up with Carter Smith?
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” She went on to say, “They’d been dating for like six months, but she said she didn’t want a boyfriend right now. Eleven and trying to figure out the dynamics of a months-long exclusive relationship and using words like “dating” to describe them. The middle school years are a time of major transition for kids as nature forces them along the path toward adulthood.