Should I Let My Middle Schooler Date?

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I recently came across an article with that very title– Should I let my middle schooler date? The article gets pretty sanctimonious, and talks all about how you should definitely not let your middle schooler date.

should middle school kids date

But what really surprised me was how everyone in the comments agreed that you should absolutely not let your middle schooler date.

should i let my middle schooler date

Dude, I get it. I get that it is stressful to think about your kids “dating” I get that when they are “going out” they aren’t actually going anywhere, and I get that, but what on earth makes people think that they can keep these kids from “dating” from “going out” from being “boyfriend and girlfriends” with each other?

Are we so old that we don’t remember middle school? All those confused hormones all holed up in one giant building. Teachers just trying to keep the peace while girly girls flash too much leg, boys who can’t stop staring at all the things they haven’t learned yet to stop staring at, and of course, all the RELATIONSHIPS that these kids have with each other.

“So-and-so likes you, do you like her?”

“I totally ship these two.” Is something you see all over their instagram accounts. Their snapchats filled with streaks to and from each other.

So, to all of those parents out there asking, “Should I let my middle schooler date?” Uh, guess what– that isn’t your decision. You can forbid. You can suggest, but this isn’t up to you. This is one of those times where we have to HOPE we have raised our children to make the right decisions, to pick and choose the right friends, and dare it say it– boyfriends and girlfriends.

You can FORBID your kids from falling for others all you want, but you can’t stop it. So quit trying. Do you know what happens to those parents who don’t let their kids “date?” Those kids DO IT ANYWAY, and guess what? Those parents have no idea. This is one of those times where it’s better to let your kids do what they want to do and offer the guidance that keeps them from making terrible decisions that can get them into real trouble later!


This isn’t a time to put on your hard-ass hat. This is a time to listen, to be there, and to show your kids that you can have an open honest relationship. THIS is the time when your kids need you. Be there for them.


(In case you want to read it, here is the article in question.)

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  1. Lalala is a PRIME example of why we have to keep young people from dating. I agree whole-heartedly with Christina. My kids may be crushing, they may spend time together at school and even call each other boyfriend or girlfriend, but they will NOT be dating before 16, period. She will not be going anywhere without adult chaperones, he will not be taking any girls anywhere unless they are going with a group of kids I trust and there is adult supervision. I will not drive them, neither will their dad. I will not pay for it, neither will their dad. If I say no dating, that is exactly what I mean and it has been no problem so far. 2 down, 1 to go. I started talking to my children about this topic when they were tweens, they know me, they take me at my word. If my child ever acted like Lalala, they would lose the privilege of everything they ever had access to, other than what the law requires: One set of clothing to be washed every other day, 2 pairs of underwear, a mattress and a pillow (cause I am nice), 3 meals a day. No electronics of any kind, no treats, no snacks, no spending money. PB and J for lunch at school every day. No door on their room. That is all that I am required to give them per the law and that is all they get if they don’t respect the rules. Once they understand the choices, they will fix their behavior and attitude pretty quickly, usually. I love my kids, they follow the rules until they are old enough to move out. Once they move out, they can make their own choices. I will have prepared them to be good adults, with morals and values that have served me very well. None of my kids ran away or moved out before they turned 18. They understood the purpose of the rules and they knew they were loved and cared for.

    Some people will feel this is abusive, it is not. My children are never denied the things they need to be healthy and clean. They are taught right from wrong and they learn respect and follow my rules. That is what a parent is SUPPOSED to teach their kids. If you are not teaching them these things, you are neglecting the appropriate care of your child. Is my way the only way? No, it is not. You do you and I will do me. I just wanted to share where I stand on the matter.

  2. Let kids make own mistakes, give em the talk, let them know the things you would prefer not to do, and let them know the future events that might happen, but dont have a tone where it sounds like ur being rude, my mom does it with me and we always fight about it.

  3. You may not have control of your kids crushes or them holding hands with a boy or gurl in school, but you 100% have control on whether or not they date. Last time I checked kids under 16 can’t drive and most still rely on Mom and Dad to pay for everything.

    Parents set the standards you deem appropriate. Not all of us our letting our kids do whatever they want when they want to do it .

    1. Bitch please, I’m 11 and all ppl ever say is “DONT DO IT”, all we do is go to movies. Is that having sex? NOPE, so shut up

      1. And rudeness is not the appropriate way to express yourself.

      2. You are a perfect example of what happens when parents don’t set expectations and boundaries! 11!!

  4. I understand where the author is coming from, but I can’t say agree. You “teach your children good principles, and let them govern themselves”. I was taught to wait dating until I was 16. I had all my own agency, and still chose to follow the rules of my parents. Not all kids will, but I hope to instill a standard of conduct in my children by talking to them about these things early on and helping them understand the temporary age restriction rather than letting them be ruled by those confused hormones that can potentially have consequences they can’t fathom at this age.

  5. I was terrified of boys in middle school. A boy sent his friend over to ask me out for him, and I literally stopped being able to see the world around me and shook my head so hard it hurt and ran to my class. I still have no clue what either boy looked like.

    I also had two friends who dated in middle school and . . . let’s just say I hope my kids take after me.