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On the other hand, students who never or hardly ever dated consistently had the best study skills and demonstrated the least risky behavior. “They feel pressure to date—that’s the cool thing to do,” she says.
What’s more, the students who dated since middle school also experienced greater risk for depression because of the impact of romantic breakups. So many of these relationships last a week or three weeks. “In school they should not have to focus on dating, but on promoting friendships and healthy relationships.” Kelly Smith, a counselor at Willowcreek Middle School in Portage, Ind., agrees, saying that she spends much of her time dealing with these social and emotional issues.
As many parents know, adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 can be the most perplexing and frustrating humans on the planet.
To avoid falling prey to it, try keeping a calendar that you can use to track the days until graduation.It is a peak time of physical growth for boys and girls. Their appearance begins to be important to them so they brush their teeth and shower more. These physical changes often drive behavior, especially when it comes to their burgeoning sexuality—so figuring out when and how to respond is like a high-wire act for parents. They respond more strongly to social rewards like a friend’s approval or disapproval.