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But new research suggests there is probably a “wrong” age to start dating: middle school.

If your pre-teen is in pursuit of a junior-high romance, make sure you’ve talked with them about these five risks: #1 Drug Use – Building on a large body of research, a recent study from the University of Georgia found children who date in middle school use alcohol and marijuana twice as much as their peers who hold off on dating until high school.

Parents are under a lot of pressure to cave on the dating issue. Instead, consider a healthy middle ground: Encourage supervised group activities like school dances, movies and sporting events or have supervised dates at home, but hold off on the one-on-ones until high school.

Early relationships in middle and older adolescence are, how should we describe it,… Remember Romeo and Juliet, the 13 year-olds from feuding families that Shakespeare tragically paired together in 15th century Verona?

#5 Emotional Health – Middle school romances can have a lasting impact on young people’s emotional development.