In another study Connolly found that 15% of teens are in dating relationships that are recurrently aggressive and that the violence tends to increase in a second relationship.
If you think your child is being abused, you need to engage your child in an open discussion in order to help.There is interest, but they are not coupled up, which is normal.Kids can gain a lot from being in healthy supportive relationships; it adds to their sense of competence and self esteem."Parents should take an active role in teaching and helping their kids understand what normal dating behaviours are." By understanding what "healthy" dating is at this age, parents can set limits and protect their child.At the end of the day, "it's better than saying they shouldn't date at all." "What is healthy is being in a group of boys and girls and transitioning from same-sex-only groups into groups in contact with the other sex," says Connolly.Dating is only one of many possible ways to develop self-esteem."Kids at this age want relationships that are fun, and that can bring them together to learn about boys and girls. Unlike someone in their 30s, young teens want to experience dating from a much less committed and long-term perspective.Although defined gay identity is not typical until later adolescence or early adulthood, "interacting with the opposite sex at this age can be part of the gay youth's attempts to resolve his or her identity questions," says Connolly."Parents, educators, and adolescents can benefit from knowing that light sexual behaviours can be considered normal at this time, whereas heavy sexual behavior, especially intercourse, is not," says Connolly. "But I didn't start dating until I was 18," says Mom. According to one survey, nearly half of teens between the ages of 11 to 14 years old are dating. More and more parents are faced with this dilemma today.