At what age do you think kids should start dating? How old were you when you went on your first date? Was there anything you would change about the experience? How do you think it shaped your expectations?
My answer to this question...
Well, if they are young, group and supervised (family) dates are okay. When talking about "real" dates- when the teenager has learned respect for themselves AND other people. If a female, I would have her take self defense classes before she was allowed to be alone with a boy. If a boy, I would enlighten him as to the psychology of women so he could know when he was being abused/manipulated.
My first true 'dates' where I was treated well led to physical experiences I was way too young for, at 16. From the ages of 14-16, I went on MANY disaster dates (hell, I still do!), so I thought that anyone that treated me WELL was "the one". Looking back, there are hundreds of things I would do differently- but that's a little personal, and I've spent too much time dwelling on the past.
I will say this. I wish my mom and I had a closer relationship, and that I had more self respect when I was young. I want my kids to have confidence. I might be the crazy mom that gives her kids too much freedom...but I will raise them with a sense of integrity and respect.
The strange thing is- both the crappy people and the sneaky gentlemen have shaped me in a positive way (to me, anyway, not to most men). I have extremely high standards and am ultra picky now. I know how I deserve to be treated. If you don't fit, out the door.