Yet, they’re still in middle school and need to be given responsibility gradually.
Then tell them, “Just three more years, and you can date.” Just kidding -- sort of.
You’ve accepted the fact that your child is taller than you, and you’ve (almost) convinced her that taller does not equal smarter.
Kids at this age are more prone to risk-taking, says Jerry Parks, a teacher at Georgetown Middle School in Kentucky; “as their world and individuality expands, they become more likely to test authority to evaluate how flexible the system at home and school will become.”But this doesn’t mean a child is becoming a troublemaker.
“Very often, their actions are merely to do just that—test the system—rather than indicate rebellion or incorrigibility,” says Parks, author of “They see themselves as more mature than they are and often react to peer pressure, or other stimuli, rather than thinking things through.”In responding to a child who may be pushing boundaries, parents can rely on the solid foundation they’ve built to get them through.
But be aware that most kids will not go this route.
“Parents must always remember that, the great majority of the time, when the middle school changes run their course, the child will generally revert back to the core values and upbringing which parents taught them,” he says.
Ray Guarendi As a family psychologist, I am often asked by parents when their children should begin dating. Let’s suppose that you’ve decided to begin dating discussions when your daughter turns 16.
They usually hasten to inform me, “All his (her) friends are dating.” My quick answer is: When they’re married, and only with their spouse. Now back in the old days — the early 1980s — you met resistance for such a decision mainly from the children. You can’t wrap a moral bubble around them; they have to deal with life. A recent survey suggested that if a child has a first date between the ages of 11 and 13, he or she has a 90% probability of being sexually active during senior year in high school. Key factors to consider in granting any type of dating freedom are your child’s: • moral maturity • independence of thought • history of conduct in other social settings • strength of will • social judgment • choice of friends • responsibility toward schoolwork • respect for authority.
Seriously, dating age depends upon all kinds of factors, and varies from child to child, even within the same family. Never consider your neighborhood’s “average age” when making your decision. Parents used to expect instinctively to be challenged by their kids, especially in judgments of how fast one should grow up. If you make kids too different, they’ll feel like weirdos who don’t fit in. First date at age 14 leads to a 50% chance; first date at age 16, 20% chance. I figure if I make the list long enough, my kids won’t be eligible to date until they move out.
But here are some general guidelines from my experience: 1. What is quite different these days is that you are almost as likely to be questioned by your peers, the parents of your children’s friends, They will say: “These are different times. Once you are confident your son or daughter has met these standards, sit them down, let them know how much you admire who they are and who they’re becoming.