believe it or not, she will be more afraid to screw up if she knows you trust her than she will be if she knows you dont. I just can't see how a boyfriend fits into all of that. THEN, some of the girls/boys, can just go off on their own and separate from the 'group.' And do whatever, making out. Has respect for herself and is responsible and is open with you and knows, she can tell you things. The human brain, is not even fully developed until 26 years old. A few weeks ago she told me about a certain boy at school who has asked her out a few times, but she has declined because she "knows" how dad will react.
We're what some might call old fashioned but I've been talking to my daughter about NOT dating too young since she was old enough to understand. But the genitals of a 13 year old, coupled with curiosity and peer pressure... This gave me the perfect opportunity to explain dating, as we, her parents, see it.
My 13 year old daughter has a boyfriend (i.e., they sit together at lunch at school and talk/text), She and a friend want to go to a movie on a double date this weekend.
My husband and I said no, explaining that we believe 13 is too young to be going on dates.
Yes, I did go out on a few dates with other men, but that was it-- maybe one or two here and there over the years.
My son had a girlfriend by the time he was 13, my daughter was 14. I've already watched her flirt (quite skillfully) with boys her age, so I'm expecting this to happen early with her, too. I could go out on group dates at 14 and alone at 15.5. I never had to worry about coming home and facing the infamous "Ummm, guess what? I didn't even try to pull that with my parents until junior or senior year, and even then it was just going out with a "group" and hanging with a favorite guy in the mix without telling them because I wasn't really allowed to date.
More important than age is self-esteem, the ability to talk with their parents about any concerns, their ability to say "no" to things they aren't comfortable with, the ability to make good choices when choosing friends. I really don't care if this is a "different time." I'm doing the same for my daughters. I wasn't allowed to "date" until I was 16..even then, one or both of my parents tagged along. My 14 year old neighbor/babysitter talks about nothing but her boyfriend boyfriend boyfriend. She's hardly ever free to sit because she's with her boyfriend's family and away on all their church group's outreach things together.
Dating has become less formal, less two-by-two, and more about doing things in groups. That summer we would meet up at the pool on the weekends. Boyfriends are so darn all consuming mentally at that age.
I'm afraid I don't see what the issue is with four 13 year-olds going to a movie together. I had a full time babysitting job 5 days a week, and he bussed tables, so weekends are when we got to see each other. Once we were freshmen in high school, we did get dropped off at the movies. Sure she'll still think about him and communicate (I'm not looking forward to having a texting 13 year old, but it may happen if texting is still the thing in 9 years...), but the dates are a slippery slope.