Shy kids often postpone dating because of their anxiety and avoidance, and the bold risk-takers will be the trail blazers. If the teen blows it on following through, she or he has restricted freedom.How can parents balance their need for information with their child'sdesire forprivacy and independence? RELATED: How to keep your kids safe around alcohol What should parents do if they suspect their child is in an abusive relationship?This is where the parent network can really come in handy.Parents should tune into the grapevine: Your teen may not be talking, but usually one of them is. Before you hit the panic button, heed the advice of clinical psychologist Dr.Laura Kastner, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington, and author of Getting to Calm: Cool-headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens and Teens. What are the best strategies for opening up a dialogue about dating? Start on the outside of the topic of socializing, and hunt and peck.If we stay respectful and keep sniffing around the perimeter of their social worlds, we'll usually learn something of their romantic world. Teens, especially those in high school and college, may refer to "hooking up," and that term can include anything from kissing at a party to sexual intercourse. Teens deny that any coupling up is occurring so that teens can maximize their independence.
What hasn't changed over the decades is that sexual and romantic interests start at or before puberty.
Temperament plays a big role in determining whether someone couples up in middle school or waits until their 20s.