Pre-teen dating or more commonly known as ‘tween dating’ has become a common notion in today’s age. Tweens, children aged between 8 and 12 years, are following the footsteps of teenagers, making tween dating more common. When tweens start dating, they channel all their energy and focus into the significant other, leaving her family and friends behind. As more tweens are falling for tween dating, this has become a serious problem for parents who constantly worry about what their children have to go through. Most child development experts have agreed about the fact that early dating can be harmful for the tweens, which in turn can have negative effects on their behavior. It aggravates a number of problems for not only tweens but their parents as well. Let us find out what potential problems are generally associated with tween dating.
Increase in Moodiness and Depression
It is quite possible that tween dating can lead to an increase in depression and moodiness of a tween. First, they go through puberty, which is hard enough, and secondly, when they start dating, the situation becomes more tough for them. As compared to single tweens, the ones in a romantic relationship tend to have more mood swings. Severe mood issues can inculcate sullenness in their nature, which can be harmful for them. Similarly, symptoms of depression are more commonly found among dating tweens as compared to those who stay away from dating. They usually get depressed when they experience a heartbreak. Thus, the break-up incident triggers the disorder and puts them into a state of depression.
A situation of codependency arises when tweens become emotionally dependent on their significant others. Most tweens run the risk of showing emotional reliance on their partners when they fail to discover their own identity and blindly adopt their partners’ preferences. They would dress up as per their partner’s wish, adopt their partner’s lifestyle and way of thinking, and become someone their partner would approve of. This sheer codependency will eventually turn them into different individuals, potentially damaging their self-worth and self-confidence.
Less Time Spent With Family and Friends
When preteens begin to adore the charm of dating, they become ignorant of their family members and friends and spend less time with them. Feeling highly neglected, both family members and friends do nothing but quietly endure their behavioral changes. Moreover, tweens often have disagreements with their parents and friends over their dating behavior and dislike when someone outside of their romantic relationship refrain them from doing something. Without even realizing, many tweens involved in dating miss out on key social and emotional development that takes place in the context of their friends’ meetings and family gettogethers.
Risky Sexual Activity
It goes without saying that perhaps tweens, who are into romantic relationships, are more likely to engage in sexual activity, thus exposing themselves to greater risks involved with it. Non-safe sexual activity can lead them to contracting STDs and unintended pregnancy. Therefore, if not taken any preventative measures, engagement in sexual activity can put them at great risk.
We have highlighted some of the key problems associated with tween dating. Apart from them, an increase in the use of alcohol, academic issues, and delinquent behaviors have also been reported as some of the other problems linked with tween dating.