Learn parenthood from WARREN M. SEIGEL, M.D. is the Chairman of Pediatrics and Director of Adolescent Medicine at Coney Island Hospital, Brooklyn, New York and is an Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at SUNY-Health Science Center at Brooklyn
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Host: What's a good age you see a adolescent to go dating. When they do group dating or we they go as a group together, and the parents know, like when they go movie together, or may be get some pizza. Well, lets talk of it. An individual date, what's a good age do you think it is? Guest: It's a very good question. I am often asked by parents, when can my son or my daughter go on their first date? And the real issue is, what are the parent's values, based on their background, their religious background, their ethnic background, what did the parents do either? I don't think there is one particular age that parents can say, okay you are now 16, 14, 18, 24 and you need to go on your first date. I think not only are the parent's roles important for their teenager, but also what's the emotional development and one is the cognitive development of that adolescent? We know that there are some adolescents who develop socially much earlier than others and some are late bloomers. They develop a little bit later. So I really think, there are many factors involved. So I don't think there is one rule of when your adolescent is old enough to go on his or her first date. I also think it's important when adolescents are asking to go on dates. To make sure that you know the person that they are going on the date with. It is really important to know where he or she is from and that means meeting them, that means getting to know them. That means that the mother and father really have to sit down with him or her and find out who they are, where they are planning on going and what they are planning on doing. Because again safety is the important thing that we can provide for our children as they are growing up. Making sure that they are not going to be going on their first date to the boy or girl's house when their parents are not home. That's not date. Going to a movie theater is very very different. Going may be out to a restaurant or a party at the school, very very different and making sure that if they are going, if there are no adults around, because it's a school party and it's for the kids, making sure that there is shack room there. That there are some adults present and how they are going to get there. Drinking and driving, we know is a significant cause of death to adolescents and making sure that the driver of the car is not under the influence whether it be drugs or alcohol. And also making sure that adolescents know that there are things that they need to do in anticipation of a problem. So what do you do, if you have a problem or you feel unsafe? Making sure that the boys and girls know that is okay to say no. No I don't want to do this. And clarifying your values way in advance of their first date, I think it is something that parents need to deal with.

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