Fourteen-year-old Claire August has fond memories of Valentine’s Day. Last year, a seventh-grade classmate she was dating gave her a little box of candy hearts.
Nearly half of 11- to 14-year-olds have had what they consider to be “boyfriends” or “girlfriends,” research shows. That doesn’t mean they talk. Texting is just fine. Sue Shellenbarger has details on Lunch Break.
It was one of the few times during their monthlong relationship that they talked face-to-face. Like most tweens, Claire, who lives in Davis, Calif., and her crush communicated almost entirely via text message and Facebook. When her mother Anne Smith asked Claire if they had held hands, she replied, “Oh, Mom, no. It’s junior high!” They even broke up via text message.
Nearly half of 11- to 14-year-olds say they have been in a dating relationship, according to a 2008 survey of 1,043 tweens by Tru, a Chicago youth market-research firm, for Liz Claiborne. A larger share—60%—think parents should let middle-schoolers date, according to a recent online poll of 787 users by Yoursphere, a social-networking website for tweens and teens.
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