At least that’s what teens said in a recent story about online romance in the student newspaper at my daughters’ suburban Maryland high school.
According to that story, “students initiate relationships online to meet new people, avoid stressful in-person meetings and hide their dating lives from their parents.” That’s certainly the case for some kids, according to my 17-year-old.
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?
By high school, kids are more likely to develop serious romantic attachments.
For instance, Atkins suggests asking your child why they think someone acted the way they did, and whether they made a good or healthy choice. It's your job, as their parent, to figure out if your child is ready to handle the level of dating they have in mind.
Pay attention to how they respond when you start a conversation about dating.
"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.