A Confused Mother Dear Mother, First, let me say that we have to be very careful about wishing for popularity for our kids.The popular kids are not always the happiest kids nor are they always the nicest. Anyone who has ever been excluded knows that this has often been initiated by the popular kids. Nonetheless, kids who begin to date as young teens are more likely to have bad study habits, eventually develop substance use problems and are unfortunately more likely to drop out of school than teens who begin to date at later ages.
Such as middle school relation ships do not matter.
Look, it is even complicated for mature adults, right?
The young teen may be ill-equipped to deal with these sorts of intimate relationships and may come to rely on their relationship status as an indicator of their self-esteem.
I am in my second relationship and know very well what could happen to me. I believe your advice is solid if what you mean is traditional dating.
This is especially true given that middle school boys are now watching porn from the time they are 11 or 12. However, I'm getting the sense that dating in middle school doesn't always mean "dating." Our daughter is in the 7th grade.