*****Just for fun, it might be nice to play Beyonce's Single Ladies while reading this.******
*****Or it might be weird and difficult to concentrate. Your call.****
This might come as a shock to some of you, but Aiden does not have a girlfriend. He's currently single. We aren't sure what to make of it. We're afraid he might not ever find his true soul mate if he doesn't start working it a little more on the playground. What kind of a player can he possibly be down the road if he isn't sweet talking at least two or three girls now?
I mean he's cute. What's the problem?
Are you thinking I should implement a Match.com sort of strategy to remedy this? Should I let him watch Hitch? or Boyz N The Hood?
(Not that Boyz N The Hood was really about match making, but it's just such a classic.)
Should I splash some Drakar cologne on his backpack and Star Wars shirts as he heads for the bus? That worked for all the boys I had a crush on back in junior high. I wonder what reeled me in in kindergarten?
Oh yeah...I didn't care at all about boys then.
All too often recently I hear other moms talking about their daughter's boyfriends. Even bragging and encouraging their daughters to chat it up about their "relationships." Occasionally it's a boy's mom chatting about her son's girlfriend, but often it's the other way around and I'm baffled by the whole thing. Why is anyone with a child in kindergarten, or younger, talking about a boyfriend-girlfriend type of relationship of their child's?
I used to have a reasonably clear idea of what the term boyfriend meant, but apparently that is no longer the case. Are these kindergartners holding hands and having deep conversations about their future? Are they passing notes and scribbling on Trapper Keepers with hearts? Are they meeting outside school to make out?
(Not that I EVER did that with a boyfriend.)
I assume they are not. I assume most of them aren’t even able to write the word boyfriend without assistance, much less embrace the idea of it all.
I encourage all my children to play with the kids they enjoy being around, regardless of gender, unless they are annoying, of course. I feel that turning their genuine enjoyment of another child’s company in to something as adult as a boyfriend-girlfriend status robs them of these innocent years to simply enjoy one another, pick their nose in public, and have complete disregard for the embarrassing things their parents can do around them. It's a good time.
It seems challenging enough to navigate the ins and outs of friendship with another person without the added stress of placing labels and terms to the relationship that my six year old should not, and does not, understand.
My kindergartner often mentions that one of his friends has a lot of girlfriends, and he thankfully says this as a fact, rather than a way in which to bemoan his own single status.
(That little boy is not as cute as Aiden anyway, so I've reassured Aiden that he'd be able to easily steal any of them away if he could only figure out why that kid has them.)
(That's a lie people. Remember, when in doubt, assume it's a joke.)
He is being told the whole thing matters though and that bothers me. It doesn’t matter; someday it will feel like it does, but not now. Please not now. Now is the time to be free of the pressures of crushing on, rejecting and being rejected by the opposite sex.
I find the idea of discussing a boyfriend with my daughter particularly dangerous. She is already aggressively targeted with ideas of finding her prince charming. Even gentle encouragement from me to discuss the existence of a boyfriend would feel as though I am telling her that her having a boyfriend, or not, matters. I don’t ever want to send that message.The other night, I heard Tori Spelling talking to her three year old daughter, unfortunately also named Stella, about her boyfriend.
(To be clear I was watching her on TV, we are not actually close and personal friends. She has a pig and a goat living in her house and it would be tough for me to go over there and hang. Though I love her decor and she throws super fun parties.)
(Also to be clear, I don't usually watch that show, but Alex works really late and sometimes my TV choices get low-class and well, annoying.)
Tori was giggling and little Stella was very serious in her proclamation of boyfriend having. There was even a discussion of a kiss. What the hell? Later in the show, Stella was shown jumping in a bounce house with her love interest and Tori was immensely amused.
I was sort of disturbed.
I get the idea that it could be sweet that your child has developed a strong liking, even a genuine friendship love, for another kid. I fully grasp the potential adorable factor of your cute girl loving on an equally cute and well dressed little boy,like a Gap Kids ad come to life. I feel like it's wrong though to start making them feel like it matters in the terms of boyfriend or girlfriend. Don't we have plenty of time to put forth energy, emotions, and tears to that in years 10-20? or on in to 30?
Cole has an adorable friend in his preschool class that hugs him, very enthusiastically everytime she sees him. He loves to play with her. The two of them really enjoy being around one another and talk about the other one a lot when they are apart. Thank the Lord though, I haven't ever heard this mom refer to Cole as her daughter's boyfriend, and I haven't once referred to her as Cole's girlfriend. The idea is absurd and to be honest, I think it tarnishes the innocent sweetness of their genuine liking of one another.
Is this just another vein of dressing our daughters more provocatively at an earlier age? Is it a matter of our young kids watching too mature types of TV programs? Can we blame all this on Wizards of Waverly Place and ICarly? Is it older siblings trickling down their fascinations with the opposite sex?
Is it the gluten and dairy? I feel those two are to blame for a lot already, we could just lump it in.
The big question though....am I the only one that hates it? Does it really matter? Or am I just easily annoyed and cranky and overly exposed to alone time with my children all freakin' day long?
Wait...don't answer that question.
What do you think? Do you think it's OK to talk to your very young children about having a boyfriend or girlfriend?
I'm linking up with Shell's weekly meme, Pour Your Heart Out. Go over to her blog and check it out!