Dating website for kids under 13
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.
Connolly suggests encouraging your child to hang out with their friends at your house where you can monitor them and watch them interact.
If you think your child is being abused, you need to engage your child in an open discussion in order to help.
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.
Abuse has been found to increase with sex at a young age.
"Dating can be exciting and high energy but [generally] kids tend to prevent each other from becoming too intimate in those situations." Despite the statistics, there are some adolescents who become "couples" and engage in "heavy activities" such as petting or actual intercourse.
These behaviors are not healthy at this age and carry both behavioural and physical risks, emphasizes Connolly.
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.