Hey Mom and Dad, When Is It Appropriate to Let Your Kids Start Dating?

Parents, Patch wants to hear from you on the questions that get families talking.

Welcome to "Hey Mom and Dad"—a weekly feature in which we ask our Facebook fans to share their views on parenting. Every week, we get the conversation started by taking a look back at a question we asked parents the week before on Patch Facebook pages from around the area.

With Valentine's Day close at hand, love is in the air. Valentines exchanged in school from an early age are innocent enough, but it's not long before classmates start developing crushes. That brings us to this week's question:

At what age should you allow your children to begin going on dates?

Take a look at what people had to say and join the conversation in the comments section.

Laurel Stanard Flinn: Age 16. Most kids would rather drive themselves on a date than to be shuttled around. ... Have a talk with your child about the appropriateness of how to properly treat a girl/boy, don't do anything one would have to apologize for, opening doors, talking to parents, going to door to pick up date, getting date home on time, being home on time, what to do if you are in an uncomfortable situation of any kind, etc. How they perceive this discussion is a great indicator of their readiness to date. — Batavia Patch Facebook

Don Lindau: 21. — Elmhurst Patch Facebook

Mary Magill Craft: I think we started going to parties, dances and the big thing was going to the movies on a Saturday night. Mom would drive us. We were 12 or 13 then. — Geneva Patch Facebook

Lora Rankin Bak: 15. — Glen Ellyn Patch Facebook

Vikki Bradley Stella: 16. — Naperville Patch Facebook

Jen Hanson: I have 2 sons, 14 and 17, 15 is when my oldest started dating and that's going to the mall and walking around, maybe a movie. It all depends on the maturity of your child, my 14 yr old hasn't shown interest yet. — St. Charles Patch Facebook

Kyu Kim: I laugh when I hear about kids "dating" in Middle School which I understand to mean they exchange cell phone #s. I said 16 and I will accompany them on their dates. — Wheaton Patch Facebook

So what's your take? Tell us in the comments. 

Colin C. February 05, 2013 at 08:19 PM
Having raised two daughters I would opt for 40.
Buford Pusser February 05, 2013 at 09:50 PM
michele February 05, 2013 at 11:10 PM
Mine were not allowed to date in high school
Robin Smith February 06, 2013 at 03:47 PM
When the parents think it's appropriate for their child.


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