I don’t know if you knew, but it goes down in fifth grade, from the DMs to school hallways.
Pay attention to how they respond when you start a conversation about dating.
Notice what "dating" seems to mean to your child and then talk about it.
Michelle Anthony, Ph D, a developmental psychologist and learning therapist in Denver, suggests an opening line like: “It sounds like a lot of kids are talking about dating now. ” If you can't tell what dating means to your kid, try discussing dating as shown on TV shows or in movies that are age-appropriate.
Ask a group of seventh-graders how to conduct relationships, and much of their advice could apply just as well to adults: "Don't dance with another girl if your girlfriend isn't at the dance." "Don't hold hands with your best friend's boyfriend." "Tell your parents as little as possible." But middle school is generally when a person first tries the romance thing, and, as with most experiences, novice attempts little resemble the veteran versions.
A grown man is unlikely to say to a grown woman, "You're my backup if Jessica says no." It's socially acceptable for adults to go without a crush for a week, a month, a year.
Kids from Howard, Fairfax and Montgomery counties agreed to explain, and one of them, sixth-grader Kimiya Memarzaden, gives an answer that is charmingly coy."Going out," Kimiya explains, "is being more than friends and less than actually going somewhere." Kimiya herself has never gone out with anyone at Hammond Middle School in Laurel; she is more animated talking about ponies than about boys.