Never lol.. I really think it depends on the child. If they are ready, and responsible. I think the average age should be around 16. Oh no, only 8 more years to go. : )
At the moment, I have a baby daughter, not a teenager, and my response probably should not be trusted because my first two thoughts are "never" and "over my dead body," and my slightly more open-minded response is "when she's 18 and I get to ride shotgun, as in I sit in the shotgun seat with a real shotgun pointed at the head of my daughter's would-be boyfriend."
I suspect, based on my totally unreasonable responses, that this is a question better left to those who have actual teenagers.
Still, here is my somewhat more thought out but still totally theoretical response: 16 or 17 years old. I can't help thinking that 14 and a freshman in high school is just too young and impressionable to date. But I kind of also like the idea of my daughter having dated a bit before going off to college so that she isn't completely naive at a time and in a place that I can't really do anything about it. But I guess I will have to find out the hard way in 15 to 16 years if I am lucky and sooner if I am not.
On last thought: I was a pretty obedient kid (oldest child and a child of immigrants) and didn't think at the time that I had time for dating. And I was shy with girls I liked. But on top of all of that, I am pretty sure that the flat-top that I wore until the very end of my senior year in high school was a pretty effective birth-control device and all-around girl-repellent. Which now gives me an idea for my daughter when she grows up a bit...
I think it depends on the child and their maturity level. I think mid to late teens would be normal for an age range for the interest in dating to begin. Start off slowly and supervised at first, and the child learns the rules and see how things proceed.. I have a 14 year old and he is mature but is not interested in dating yet. I think it depends on the child and their friends and social interaction. Good question!
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