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She advises teens not to be in a rush to start a relationship.
“You’re your own person before and after this other person, and you need to take care of yourself before you can take care of other people,” she says.
If there’s a breakup, ask them what they learned.” It’s easier to teach kids who have experience, she says, because kids don’t always learn from peers’ mistakes.
Dating, unfortunately, is not always a positive experience.
oday’s teens are navigating a social media-infused world where the only sure thing is change.
But one thing remains constant: Teens love being in love.
While dating can lead to sex for some teens, it does not for others.
“It’s important to recognize when boundaries are being crossed.
They especially need help learning to communicate when their needs conflict with their partner’s,” Copeland says.
While middle schoolers might do some group dating on trips to the mall, or might connect with a “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” via daily texts, Copeland says “younger students are still sorting out their own identity and are usually not ready to focus on another person in any serious way.” Such relationships, she says, usually end with an abrupt text or, even more awkwardly, by third-person word of mouth (or text).
Strict definitions aside, all teen relationships are learning experiences — from middle school pairings to high school hookups to watching a friend date his or her true love.
“The most important thing is that your boyfriend is not ashamed to show you off,” she says.