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It can be alarming and uncomfortable to think about your child dating.

Explain if and how you want your child to check in with you while they’re out, what you consider acceptable and appropriate behavior, and curfew. We may use terms like “puppy love” and “crush” to describe teenage romances, but it’s very real to them.

You may be surprised to hear dating labels like “boyfriend,” “girlfriend,” and “together” from the lips of your sixth-grader.

At this age, it probably means your son or daughter is sitting next to a special someone at lunch or hanging out at recess.

You can also consider what other parents are doing.

Are lots of kids the same as yours already dating in the true sense of the word?

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