With this knowledge of the dating scene, why would anyone allow their tween to start dating?"Teenagers often wonder two things: how to date and what a healthy relationship is," says Jennifer Connolly, Ph D, Director of the La Marsh Centre for Research on Violence and Conflict Resolution at York University.Movies, music and television can make young girls think that being in a relationship will make them “more desirable” or ‘more mature.” Seeing images of couples in movies or hearing songs about love can make a girl yearn for a romantic relationship of her own. Like many other decisions we make in adolescence (what we wear, what we look like, whom we hang out with), what others think is often an important motivator.
I thought about my first dance: standing alone in a corner, not moving, desperately waiting for him to notice me.
My daughter was 11 when she went to her first school dance.
I put on a brave face as she got out of the car in her polka-dot dress (with a denim jacket for her signature swagger). But what I really wanted to say as she disappeared into the crowd of sixth-grade bravado was, "Wait—come back!
And by building her self-esteem and body confidence before she enters the arena of teen dating issues, she is more likely to be a stronger partner when she does decide to date.
However, bucking peer and media pressure to start dating young is a brave choice for any girl, and requires support and understanding from those who love her.
“If a girl doesn’t have a strong sense of self, she may seek acceptance through dating,” says therapist and researcher Dr. “This, in fact, has a negative effect on her self-esteem. it doesn’t define you.” It is important that we encourage and praise girls for waiting to date.