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Monday, March 21, 2011

Parenting Pet Peeves: Is She Your Little Girlfriend?

I was having a chat with my friend the other day, and we were talking about how she was enjoying a bit of quiet, because both her eldest son and her daughter were having a play date at the home of a couple of girls from school. My friend's seven-year-old boy was looking forward to having a play date with this friend-who-is-a-girl.

We discussed how, at this age, our boys seem to get along with girls just as easily as boys. Then we talked about how it is the grown-ups who ruin things by saying silly things like, "Oh, aren't you two adorable! Is she your little girlfriend?" I have heard people say this to toddlers for goodness' sake! I know that no ill is intended (and please don't be offended if you have said this yourself); it is just my thing. It's like rubbing two pieces of Styrofoam together; it drives me barmy.

I suppose I've heard it quite a lot. Since he was a toddler, MasterFive has been close friends with my friend's little girl of the same age. They were pretty adorable, but why do we feel the necessity to make every male-female friendship that our children have into something it is not? Children lose their innocence all too quickly as it is. Why do we need to accelerate this by forcing romantic love onto them at an age when they are only thinking that Suzy is pretty cool, because she can run really fast and huck a loogey at 20 paces?

Having said that, I have started noticing the girls in MasterSeven's age group have started to notice my MasterSeven. Eyelashes have been batted, notes have been written, kisses have been stolen (but not reciprocated), and it won't be long before I'll have something real to be concerned about. 

Can't I just have them cryogenically frozen so I don't have to deal with them morphing into hormone-rampant teenagers? Girls: Keep your hands off my boys. Because. I. Am. Simply. Not. Ready. For. This.


  1. Oh, yes. There is PLENTY of time for this stuff to happen.

    I. Can. Not. Stand. It. when people do this to my sons - usually the older people (grandparents etc) actually. It makes them SO uncomfortable.

    Why? WHY???

  2. Jodie: Luckily this line of questioning hasn't made the boys feel uncomfortable in the past, but I do notice that now MasterFive will emphatically deny that any girl is his girlfriend. He is entering the 'girls are icky' stage, and I am OK with that. ;-)

  3. I try to keep away from all that type of talk too. They're young - just let them be happy to play with everyone!! With you on this one TM

  4. It drives me batty too. I hear it at playgroup all the time. No they don't want to get married, they are not in love, they are not boyfriend/ girlfriend. They are simply enjoying having someone else to dig up worms with.

  5. Yeah wait until he has a cell phone with unlimited texting.

  6. I think that the whole "boy/girlfriend" thing when kids are kids is just ridiculous!

  7. My dad used to tease me about girls when I was a teenager, long before I developed my Associate Mummy status. I hated it. AND it possibly wrecked whatever friendship/acquaintance-ship with them. :-(

    Nowadays I think this 'bf/gf' label falls into the same bag as sexualisation of youth in media, awful lyrics in songs/music video parodies ...

    I think it's more than disastrous to through a young child into such an arena before they mature and understand implications of what older teens and young adults have to deal with.

    Good post!

  8. How does Master7 feel about those stolen kisses? I remember reading in the paper how some child's parents sued/charged (I can't remember which) the parents of a child who forced kisses on their young daughter.

  9. I'm with you on this one. I still remember getting this label when I was a little kid playing with friends who happended to be boys... the jokes kept coming out at 21sts and family get together years down the track. Not sure what advice to give... good luck! Stopping by for the weekend rewind.

  10. I can't say that we have had a lot of that. Maybe the fact that my boys have their 'girlfriends' playing Lego and wrestling has something to do with it? It is a crazy phenomenon though but maybe explains why so many adults are confused about platonic relationships with people of the opposite sex? Thanks for Rewinding x

  11. Here, here with you 100%. Let kids be kids, childhood is so fleeting.

  12. Oh man! Yes, yes and yes! One of my best friends had a son 5 weeks after my daughter was born, and it started straight away.

    I am almost a little bit glad that they have moved a bit further away so my daughter (now 3) doesn't have to put up with that stuff. (Mind you, he is a very handsome boy of course!)


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