The adult doesn’t need to hover, but random drop ins and walk throughs will keep the herd mentality from taking over.As tweens and young teens, it’s important for girls and boys to learn how to interact in positive and healthy ways.
, told the honest and heartbreaking love story of a girl with cerebral palsy and a boy with obsessive-compulsive disorder.According to our teen sources, official group “dates” can be way more than simple, social “get to know me” gatherings– depending on the group.The pairing off may be innocent hand holding or kissing. But for the previously “enlightened” (either through media exposure, older siblings, or personal experience), new ideas are suggested to up the game.Within those groups, some pairing off begins, and so does the dating game. A lot of parents are OK with group dating among young teens. For tweens and young teens, hanging out in groups is a natural progression from the girls-only and guys-only hanging-out that has happened up until they found each other more…interesting.Once kids hit middle school, it’s more comfortable for the girls to learn how to “hang out” with the guys and vice versa when they are surrounded by their peeps.Sorenson asserts romantic relationships serve as a platform for their ability to negotiate, compromise and offer empathy.
Teens can also test the sensation of vulnerability by placing an intimate level of trust in someone that they are unable to do with friends.
Similarly, those same relationships and partner choices influence the development of identity as well as other components of the self-concept." According to Manning et al, "Adolescence is an exploratory stage where important skills and experience are obtained while dating which help teens to navigate later life relationships." Incidents of conflict and breaking up, for instance, are experiences for adolescents to endure and learn from.
These lessons can eventually foster "the emergence of more mature relationship behaviors." Teen dating is also a tool for the sharpening of adolescents' interpersonal skills.
Sorenson points out that, "As adolescents become more autonomous from their parents, their romantic relationships increasingly become a source of emotional support." This support is particularly crucial when a given teen is of a "sexual minority." If an adolescent is questioning their sexual orientation, and is uncomfortable with addressing the issue with parents, other family members and even friends for fear of retribution, a teen's romantic partner may be the primary support.
Jill Avery-Stoss is a graduate of Penn State University and a writer and editor based in northeast Pennsylvania.
The event became regular entertainment until a theater security guard happened upon the circle of kids “covering” for the two in the middle.