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Hey Mom and Dad, When Is It Appropriate to Let Your Kids Start Dating?

Parents, Patch wants to hear from you on the questions that get families talking.

Welcome to "Hey Mom and Dad"—a weekly feature in which we ask our Facebook fans to share their views on parenting. Every week, we get the conversation started by taking a look back at a question we asked parents the week before on Patch Facebook pages from around the area.

With Valentine's Day close at hand, love is in the air. Valentines exchanged in school from an early age are innocent enough, but it's not long before classmates start developing crushes. That brings us to this week's question:

At what age should you allow your children to begin going on dates?

Take a look at what people had to say and join the conversation in the comments section.

Karen Zappavigna Hoogland: When they have a JOB to pay for the date and can DRIVE to get there and back! —on Beverly-Mt. Greenwood Patch Facebook

Kelly Fletchall: My dad always said I can't date until I'm 30! —on Orland Park Patch Facebook

Carrie Soukup Mitcheff: Dating 17 or 18 but they can pretend sooner as long as they dont go anywhere or do anything. Maybe thats just my wishful thinking. —on New Lenox Patch Facbeook

Carrie Costello Beemsterboer: It's actually easier when they are younger!! 14-15... When they are in High school. You have better control of where they go and who they are with! Mostly because you have to drive them there.... —on New Lenox Patch Facebook

Susan Irvine Dudik: When her date can drive a car over to our house and have dinner with us several times before taking my precious daughter out. The biggest scumbags I dated were the ones who avoided being around my parents. —on Homewood-Flossmoor Patch Facebook

Tania Schreiber Sylvester: We did not let our older daughter date until she was an adult. We went over the standards she was looking for in a husband. We also encouraged her not to date anyone she had no intention of marrying. She did marry a wonderful man last May who wouldn't even kiss her until the wedding day. Of course we were thrilled. We just found out we are going to be grandparents! Our second daughter is 15! —on Frankfort Patch Facebook

Ann Torres-Kozicki: With daughters, 107 —on Oak Forest Patch Facebook

Sharon Bostik: 16 in groups —on Tinley Park Patch Facebook

 

So what's your take? Tell us in the comments. 

Jeannie Walton February 05, 2013 at 02:49 PM
I dated very young and it was a huge mistake. So my children started to go out at age 17 in a group and then dated with the intention as they aged of will this be the person I will marry. Parents put your FOOT DOWN stop letting kids date in jr. high and as young teens. Things are so different now. Everything goes. Ask your kids what the rainbow game is. This was around 10 years ago. I say PLEASE BE PARENTS DISAPLINE, AND TEACH THEM TO RESPECT THEMSELVES. What would our parents have done. DO IT!
Pat Cannon February 05, 2013 at 07:02 PM
well said Jeannie.... I'm a father of two pretty little girls, n boy will they be hounded in a few years, and one thing is for sure, I will put my foot down,
Todd Paben February 05, 2013 at 10:11 PM
If it is a girl: when the woman has met a guy who loves Jesus, has a job and a car, and the guy asks her dad for permission to date with intent to marry. For a guy: when he loves Jesus, has a car and a job, and knows what it means to lead a woman. When he finds the woman, he should be ready to marry the girl and ask her dad before dating.
Jennilin February 05, 2013 at 10:12 PM
When they are old enough to have a job and we have met their dates.
Nolan February 05, 2013 at 10:53 PM
I have 2 boys in public high school that are very involved in sports and other school activities so they are not even thinking about dating yet. We have had many talks about females, sex and dating so I trust we have given them all of the tools to make good decisions about emotional and physical relations. They may choose to wait until after high school to date, never get married, love someone of the same sex, etc. you have to educate them enough to wisely think and reason for themselves. I hope they go on hundreds of dates before they pick someone they may want to spend the rest of their lives with. There is no exact age to let a child date at, it should be based on the maturity level of the child. If they decide to date before they are 18 I would like to meet their date first.
Ken Little February 07, 2013 at 07:23 PM
When they are ready to get married.
Nolan February 08, 2013 at 02:31 AM
They are ready to get married when they find someone that they love. They have to date people to find that person.

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