In adolescent years, romantic love starts to develop. While it’s normal for your child to want to try dating at this age, it can cause problems if the relationship gets too serious and too exclusive. In fact, the University of Florida IFAS Extension website states that frequent dating among teens is associated with poor school performance and limited education goals. To help your teen experience a healthy dating life when he’s ready, it is important to understand how different aspects of dating can affect his grades.
According to the University of Florida IFAS Extension site, teenagers face a strong pressure to date from peers, and your teenager might not be emotionally prepared to handle the demands of a relationship. The infatuation that comes with a crush or new relationship can cause your teen to be distracted from classes and homework. In fact, Barbara Greenbergy, Ph.D., states that young teens who start dating are more likely to drop out of school than teens who date at later ages.
Your teen moves through school with a group of peers and develops friendships along the way. Dr. Greenbergy warns that your teen might neglect friendships while in a dating relationship, causing her to lose the peer support system that would otherwise see her through finishing high school. Additionally, dating someone in her social circle can have a negative impact on her grades if the relationship ends badly and causes her to become alienated from some friendships, making it hard for her to enjoy going to school.
Child development experts at the Kids Health website state that break-ups can be especially intense and devastating for teenagers. The heartbreak associated with an ending relationship can cause your teenager to miss school or lose interest in classes that he otherwise previously enjoyed. A break-up can also bring down his self-esteem, which can make him less concerned with earning good grades for his future.
To help your teen maintain a healthy dating relationship, the University of Florida IFAS Extension website states that a caring and supportive relationship between a teen and her parents is most important and serves as a model. Keep the lines of communication open with your teen and encourage her to keep active in her activities and friendships, rather than neglecting them in favor of a boyfriend. Finally, set rules and consequences relating to your teen’s permission to date and grades, and follow through with consequences if her grades start to slip.