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#2 Academic Problems – Despite often lasting a month or less and taking place mostly via text, pre-teen relationships can be intense and all-consuming, drawing kids’ focus away from academics.In the University of Georgia study, early daters had significantly worse study skills and were four times more likely to drop out of school than those who delayed dating.There is also a practical element: If the romantic interest – or, interestingly enough, their friends – drink or use drugs, your child will likely follow suit to demonstrate their ability to fit into the partner’s life.

By the time most children enter middle school their parents are starting to realize they’re not little kids anymore. Regardless, many are playing the part, wearing makeup, spending hours on Facebook and, much to their parents’ dismay, asking to go on dates.Those most at risk for substance abuse are girls who date boys two or more years older than them.The connection between early dating and drug use goes beyond being an “early bloomer.” Kids who start dating early may be naturally more inclined to risk-taking.Try to focus on finding out how the boy or girl treats your tween first.Your child won't be as open about that if you demonize who they are dating. One study found that 20% of 12 to 14-year-olds had had a relationship that lasted at least 11 months.If your pre-teen is in pursuit of a junior-high romance, make sure you’ve talked with them about these five risks: #1 Drug Use – Building on a large body of research, a recent study from the University of Georgia found children who date in middle school use alcohol and marijuana twice as much as their peers who hold off on dating until high school.The more time teens spend with a love interest, the more likely they are to use drugs.It's important that they build confidence about dating in these early years so that they are not swayed by misinformation.Also be sure they have contingency plans should the date not go as planned.Tweens tend to pick their boyfriend or girlfriend based on the person's looks, clothes, and/or social status.Teens, on the other hand, are more likely to focus on internal traits and common interests when picking a partner, just as adults do.


  1. Figuring out the right age to allow your teen to start dating is a challenge for any. Or encourage kids to attend a middle school or high school football game.

  2. Apr 2, 2014. Kids who start dating early may be naturally more inclined to risk-taking. But having a steady boyfriend or girlfriend at a young age increases.

  3. Oct 1, 2013. Despite the old adage that "love is ageless," new Canadian research suggests that boys and girls who start dating at a young age may disrupt.

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