When was the last time you sat down and had a discussion with your 11-year-old?
Maybe it was the other day playing PlayStation, and a strange conversation came up.
No, it was not about the game or even anything else they play with.
No, it was about your 11-year-old that wants to start a romantic relationship.
Okay, you think back to the day you were still 11 and what your parents said.
They’d say you are too young to even think about relationships. We all know how old-fashioned our parents were back in the day.
But as you sit still for a while, you start thinking, can 11-year-olds date?
While some teens look like adults these days, at that age, they cannot yet handle the emotional decisions that come with a romantic relationship.
That’s why you need to be careful when speaking to them about romantic relationships.
Here we’ll look at this in more detail and see how you should approach the subject of can 11 year olds date?
Can 11 Year Olds Date?
Okay, what does it mean to be an eleven-year-old? Well, there are milestones that each person has.
The first is walking by a year old, then you are potty trained by three.
Still, the 11-year mark is known as the forgotten years as parents do not notice changes occurring.
Yet, there remain changes not seen around this age. Instead, you see growth and maturity from one child to another differing.
Some kids reach them younger than 11 while others are slower and only reach it after 11.
So to dig a bit deeper, we need to look at different aspects if a child of 11 can date.
First, we need to look at how the media, science, and you see your 11-year-old.
According to the media perspective, when it comes to appropriate entertainment for pre-teens, 11-year olds can handle double entendres and abstract relationships.
Still, they are susceptible to one-sided arguments and naïve opinions.
Yet, they also put the importance of what peers think as well, and when it comes to dating an older peer can put them in inappropriate relations and risk.
When it comes to science, the CDC says that kids in this age group can experience peer pressure.
In addition, tweens become aware of the body as they change with puberty, which can result in causing a body image with eating problems.
At this age, the world is looking at them similar to toddler-hood. Hence, 11-year-olds are in their adolescent egocentrism stage.
The same applies to emotional fall-outs of romantic relationships, according to the Behavioral Science 2016 study.
They have a difficult time with it. We all know it is not a long-term thing at this age, but they still need to deal with their emotions after a breakup.
The truth is that the same study found that children develop depression and suicidal thoughts by the age of 15.
Furthermore, the child’s brain goes through tremendous growth through early adulthood when it comes to the impact of emotions.
So, what does it mean for an eleven-year-old at this stage of their life?
First, it shows that it is in your child’s best interest to say no at this time of their life with the evidence. We can even take it a step further.
Can You Still Remember Being 11-Years-Old?
When looking at an 11 year olds date, it’s good to look back at what you were doing at that age.
At 11, we felt unsure how to style our new cut bangs and not wear anything placing all the attention on ourselves.
So we ended up with an unbecoming hairdo on picture day forever-etched in our minds.
Maybe you also had some dorky glasses or were afraid the teacher called you to the front and did not know the question’s answer.
You felt worried everyone would call you a nerd. Did you ever think you were self-assured or confident at that age?
Probably not, and did you think you were ready at that age to start a romantic relationship? Well, the likeness is no.
So, this brings us to the next question of 11-year-olds yesterday, today, and the future.
Yes, society has gone through different stages in history. We have the past social norms from ancient times as the life expectancy was shorter.
Many people married young, now we see it as a modern civilization. For example, girls in ancient Greece got married at 16.
While boys were taken from families at the age of seven to go to training camps to learn battle.
In Rome, girls of noble families became educated.
Then, at 12, they entered into courtship to be married while the boys were ready to marry at 14.
Still, as time progressed, the marrying age changed to older.
Even if underage marriage is still around, the children need their parent’s consent.
These years the average age for women to marry is 28.6 in the USA, and for men, it is 30.5.
Still, childhood today looks different from ancient times as kids did not stay children long. Yet, it does not have to be that way today.
Today 11-Year-Old is The New 21-Year-Old
So what does the childhood of an 11-year-old look like in our modern days? Well, from ancient times, it is different at their age.
Your child is in the 5th or 6th grade, and boy, are they technological savvy.
Kids at this stage start to stay home alone and do babysitting a sibling.
You can trust them to walk the dog or do chores around the home to earn money.
However, your child has a different interest in becoming a martial art pro or even a budding artist. Still, they are not grownups but children.
Many kids have adult looks with the social media whim and fast-paced schedules.
Still, it does not change their natural and biological clock or emotions when putting on make-up.
So, what are the future expectations for kids?
Many things have been said about parents when disciplining their kids.
The truth is technology will keep developing to advance the quality of life.
But the emotional and physical make-up for 11-year-olds does not need to progress.
Your expectations for your 11-year-old must not change, and let your child remain a child for as long as they can.
Ask Yourself What the Purpose of Dating Is
The term dating is a recent word, and the first time it made its appearance, it was all about calendars and not romance.
As years progressed, even the meaning changed to romance.
In the early years, parents arranged marriages and were concerned with supporting each other.
In the past the male suitor financially supports his wife, and she helps him keep the house clean, cares for kids, and cooks.
Hence, dating was arranged for the men and women to meet their future spouses. But what about future spouses and a life partner?
When you date a person, you get to know them, from their likes and dislikes to political and religious views.
You learn about their aspirations and goals.
You get to know the background history of families to see if they are compatible with each other.
Still, some people today date more than others to find that perfect partner, but the ideal still remains the same.
You date a person to find one another.
Yet, it remains emotionally taxing as you get your hope up only to crash down, taking its toll on most individuals.
11-Year-Old is Learning to Become an Adult
Many adolescents, in general, say that an eleven-year-old needs to date to learn what it is to be an adult.
According to them, it is the rite of passage throughout their teen years.
Some even go as far to say if they do not date, they will not be able to have a successful relationship.
Still, the pre-and teen years are turbulent without throwing in a romantic involvement.
So, what do you learn from dating? All you know is to place another person before you and understand you need to sacrifice for others.
You learn other people’s viewpoints besides your own, and the best part is these are all worthwhile even if you are not eleven.
Psychologists even go as far to say you need to have specific skills before starting a relationship.
For example, you need to be focused, self-controlled, accomplished, and be organized.
Now we wonder how many 11-year-olds have these skills that come to mind. But, of course, if you have grown up kids, you have nothing good to say about them dating in general.
Each child has gone through an emotional toll and is also dynamic for the family afterward.
So, think of it this way: your 11-year-old still has their whole life ahead of them, and we know what they will face as adults.
We have all been there. So, we wish that all the kids aged eleven today will one day meet their soulmate to maximize the love they have together.
They will still face job stress, bills to pay, and need to face health issues.
They will argue with spouses and say things that hurt each other.
But that is okay as they will know and be ready to make amends by saying sorry and prepared to work at their relationship.
Furthermore, they will grow up emotionally and physically in the relationship. So, parents do not rush it.
Instead, let your kid be 11-years-old and enjoy being a child.
So should an 11 year old have a boyfriend or a girlfriend? And can 11 year olds date? It’s important to know the meaning of it.
Kids from the ages of around 5 will say they have a “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” but it doesn’t mean anything.
It’s a good idea to talk to your child as for them, dating may mean just wanting to spend time with someone they like.
While you should be vary of the social pressures they are under, most 11 years olds don’t see dating as we do and it’s a mostly harmless activity.
It’s important to know that they are still undergoing extensive brain growth, especially in the social-emotional department.
Being too strict with them may cause them to rebel but you need them to be educated on age-appropriate sexual education.
11 is too young for romantic relationships in many ways but in others, two people who are like each other spending time together is usually harmless.
If they do want to go out on a “date” then just insist that they are accompanied by an adult.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can an 11-year-old have a boyfriend?
There is no law stating how old you should be to have a boyfriend. The important thing is to know your kid well.
Still, the word boyfriend for an eleven-year-old might not always mean having a romantic relationship.
It can also mean that your child has a friend that is a boy who shares the same interests at school.
Yet, most kids at that age are only finding out who they are as their body develops and might not yet be ready for a romantic relationship.
Can an 11-year-old fall in love?
In our time, parents called falling in love at 11 puppy love.
But, on the other hand, it’s normal for a boy or girl to start feeling attracted to each other during their pre-teen years.
There are many lovely stories of adult couples once being childhood sweethearts.
While love at 11 is unlikely, you shouldn’t underestimate how strong your child’s feelings may be.
Can a 12-year-old get pregnant?
Yes. If a 12-year-old has started her period, then she can get pregnant.
It’s been known for girls as young as 8 to get their period whereas for others, they may need to wait until they are well into their teens.
The average age for a first period is around 12-years-old.
Mo Mulla is a work from home dad who enjoys reading and listening to music, He loves being a dad and husband to a growing family. He also loves writing about his passions and hopes to change the world, 1 blog post at a time!
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