What's A Girlfriend Mommy? How Young is too Young to Start Dating?
Last night my son comes up to me and asks me what a girlfriend is? My son is in 1st grade what the heck is he asking me this for?? Well after I had my panic attack...I asked him if he had one and he said no but one of the big girls at lunch asked him if he wanted one...thankfully he said no.
So I talked to my hubby and told him we have to get our ground rules when it comes to dating. We felt it was great to go with how my mom raised my sister and I. We were not allowed to date until we were 16-17 years old. My brother in-laws wife when I mentioned it to her said that is too old to start and it will cause them to feel left out and it will have them act out when they get older.
My sister had a rough road when she was a senior in highschool she had a few boyfriends. My first boyfriend that my didn't know about was when I was 17 and it lasted a week lol.
Yet 1st grade really? When did kids in elementary school have boyfriends and girlfriends? Is it a public school thing? I went to private school until middle school.
So moms I ask when is too young to date? How would you go about explaining girlfriends and boyfriends to your kids?
We've kind of set the dating age to 18 mostly because we believe dating is the road leading to marriage and we'd never let any of our children get married under 18. Our oldest will be 17 in early 2014 and so far is ok with our decision.
From the people I was around the average 'actual' dating (going to movies alone, etc) seemed to start between 12 and 15, though some parents would still accompany.
Most people I know though did have (basically pretend) boyfriends and girlfriends in elementary school, and most definitely by middle school, even if it was just in the school setting. I have noticed may people who didn't seem to have harder times with relationships later.
As for how to explain it... I would just wait until he figures it out. He'd figure it out by socializing and one day he'll feel feelings for a girl... the one he 'like-like's and he'll probably ask you about it. As long as there are strict physical boundaries I don't see much wrong with letting him explore this side of being social when he gets the inclination. Just my two cents.
I do like Karen's rule and it's one we've already talked about. The guy has to go through my husband to get to our daughters. It's a screening process. If the guy isn't willing to do that we know he isn't serious.
I like the idea about screening. I feel like my husband is going to be super protective of any future daughters we may have. I'm just not sure how many guys will pass the screening process! Haha.
When they were 16, they could start going out on dates. They had to be home by 10:30p.m. unless the event ended later and they had permission in advance. And the rule was, the boy had to come to the door to pick them up, (they were not allowed to just go out the door to get in the car), and they had to introduce their date to their father. That was a big one, because we were divorced, and that meant they had to call their dad and have him come over to the our house for the introduction. That ruled proved to be a good one for us to have, because our daughters had to really think about whether or not they wanted to go out with that guy or not.
My daughters are now in their late 30's but I would still have these rules today if I had a teen at home. You only get one chance to help your kids be safe in any situation, so it is better to be a little "too" strict and enforce reasonable rules than to give them too much freedom too soon. I don't care what everyone else is doing.
And, in answer to your question, yes, the "girlfriend, boyfriend" thing starts really early. First grade is often when they start it, but it just means they like someone better than any of the other boys/girls. And it usually only lasts a day or two, and then there is a different one. It is healthy, and nothing to worry about at all.
I spoke with the girls mom, and she is really a nice lady she is just so lost and did not really give herself enough time to recoup from her divorce she started dating again about a month after it was finalized.