I am 14, and almost in 9th grade, and dating is considered a regular everyday subject for teenagers my age. I know it's natural for kids his age to start wondering about the opposite sex and are getting interested, but is 11 to young to be dating? If you are concerned about your brother and what his friends are doing, FX thinks it might be helpful for you to start out by getting a better idea of what “dating” means for his peer group.
however, i have an 11 year old brother that claims kids in his grade are dating, and I have overheard him talking about girls with his friends. For younger kids and pre-teens, having a “girlfriend” or “boyfriend” might just be a way of identifying the person they like, or it may just mean they spend a lot of time during recess together.
Dating in 5 grade may not necessarily mean that they are spending time together outside of school – time that is both supervised and unsupervised.
If it seems that by “dating,” your brother’s peer group is interacting in a way that is similar to how high school students may be dating, FX suggests that you speak to your parents about your concern so that they can decide how to handle this in a way that is best for your brother.
As for your question, when the right age is for children to start dating, FX will assume you are referring to dating as two people spending unsupervised time together outside school or community activities due to a romantic connection, and that there will most likely be some level of physical intimacy – holding hands, kissing on the lips, etc.
FX is going to refer to David Elkind, who is a professor at Tufts University and the author of The Hurried Child.
Elkind believes that people younger than 14 should not date because they do not have the social and interpersonal skills required for dating situations.
He refers to various problems that can be associated with dating younger than 14:: Early dating often gets in the way of boys and girls learning the skills that they will need to have healthy relationships later on.
They may simply model relationships after relationships they see on television and in the movies rather than learning with time what is really appropriate dating behavior.
In other words, they will act the way they think they should act rather than developing a real relationship with the other person.
: Dating often means less time and fun with same-sex friends.
These friendships allow young people to learn many skills about getting along with others that will be valuable in dating experiences later on.