Monday, 23 November 2009
Should parents be worrying about their young children having “boyfriends” and “girlfriends?” The other day, P1AutismMom@autisable wrote a post titled, It's In The Library Under "S" and it got me thinking about kids and dating. Though her post was more about children approaching their parents with the sex question I noticed a lot of comments about kids and dating and they reminded me of a conversation I recently had with a three-year-old.A few weeks ago while babysitting the above mentioned three-year-old girl, she excitedly blurted out that she had a boyfriend. I was incredibly taken aback! I remember having crushes by the time I was five but a boyfriend at three?!?! I began to wonder what could possibly be going on in the world of little kids these days so I began to ask her some questions.
First I asked her what it meant to have a boyfriend. She began to answer but as is often typical with young children she did not answer the question directly. Instead, she answered by informing me that just a week ago she had been dating another boy but that they had broken up and that now she was dating so and so. She had two boyfriends in two weeks at the age of three?!? Some of us are not that lucky as adults!
After receiving that information I realized that these “relationships” could not be too serious but was still a little disturbed. I decided to continue prodding her gently as to what having a boyfriend meant. Again, she did not answer my question directly but instead told me that the new boyfriend had tried to kiss her!
I asked her if she let him and she said no (phew)! But that made me wonder, what was that little boy thinking? Anyhow, while we were having this conversation her father arrived home so I asked her if she had informed him of this news. She hadn’t yet, but proceeded happily to tell her daddy that she had a boyfriend.
The father just smiled and made a fist in hand motion as if he was getting ready to beat the boyfriend up and that was it! I was a little surprised that he did not even ask one question. I was not sure if perhaps he was use to this type of conversation or maybe he just thought, hey, she is three, what’s the big deal?
Am I turning into one of the “old” people I said I would never become when I was a youngling or are kids growing up too fast these days? If any of you parents out there have handled a similar situation what did you do?