So my little daughter is growing up and as a mother I’m sharing one of the ways we are handling this stage of her growing up. You might not agree with my parenting style and I might not agree with yours but as a mom I like hearing about how other people parent so I thought I would share how her dad and I are handling the issue of boys at this age. She still is young, only 8 but she is starting to get interested in boys and it’s only going to continue to get more so as she grows up and she will get more boy crazy I’m sure.
Bella has a boyfriend. It doesn’t really concern me. I feel that they are just experimenting with the idea of liking each other. It’s not like she’s really dating him, they are kids they don’t go anywhere and only see each other at school. My sister and a lot of other parents don’t believe in letting your kids have “boyfriends” when they are young like this because kids should be kids and I get that I do. Her dad and I have talked and right now she’s talking to me about her feelings and the dialogue between us is open. I think that if I were to say you can’t have boyfriends and forbid it. That dialogue would stop and she’d just do things behind my back which for now wouldn’t be a big deal but as she gets older I want her to be open with me so I can be aware of what’s going on in her life.
That doesn’t mean we don’t put guidelines and rules in place. She was talking about kissing, which she hasn’t done, thank goodness. I told her she was too young to kiss a boy and she’d get in a lot of trouble if I found out she kissed a boy at school. I said at school because that is the only place she sees him. She wants a play date with him and we said maybe but it has to be on a day her dad doesn’t work so we’d both be home to keep an eye on them.
She also showed me notes they had written to each other. I asked her if she was doing this during class, She said only when they weren’t busy. I said fine but if I got told she was acting up in class and not paying attention there would be no more boyfriend, she asked me what I meant and I said there would be no play dates, no calling him on the phone and I would tell her teacher to separate them as much as possible. The next day she said she gave him no notes, so I think she got the message.
So for now we are just trying to talk with her as much as possible and not set too many rules. She needs some boundaries with boys like no kissing yet and school work before love notes but I think that it will keep working and if we get really lucky she won’t be too much of a handful while she’s growing up. I’m hoping for the best. I know not every parent would handle it this way but until it stops working and we notice a problem it’s how we are dealing with it now. That’s my biggest piece of parenting advice do what works for you until it doesn’t and then try something new. You aren’t going to be perfect, not everything you do will work and someone will always think it’s wrong. You are your child’s parent and all kids are different so do your best and keep trying.