Playing "boyfriend and girlfriend"? - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 10 Old 10-09-2006, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
mommyofshmoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,418
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

I know it's normal for small children to do the whole "you show me yours and I'll show you mine" game, but I just didn't think I would get there so fast.

SO last night my dd (4.5) went to play at some friends' house, a boy and his younger sister who she's known since 1. Usually she play with the sister and the boy is left out and gets upset, but last night dd went up to his room with him and they played for a while alone. His parents were so impressed by my dd's calming effect on him because they were so quiet. We checked on them once or twice and they were playing doctor- but with clothes on and just gving "shots" and taking temps, etc.

Anyway when it we left dd told me that they played "boyfriend and girlfriend" and that she kissed him "the boy way" (meaning the way she's seen girls and boys kiss, as upposed to th way you kiss family members.)

Then she asked how old she had to be to go on dates and started talking about how they would get married and listing all the places they would travel together. She was bouncing off the walls all night.

(I spoke to his mom and the little boy was a bit dumbfounded and said nothing about the incident. It freaks me out how much preschool male-female dynamics mirror teenage and adult behavior.)

Anyway- I find myself totally overwhelmed by all this. I don't think I need to "do" anything, or even really say anything to dd. The other parents and I resolved to monitor playdates a bit more in the future- but even that I feel weird about.

I know it's just "experimentation", but it brings up all kinds of weird issues. Like, what's really so wrong with little kids playing fantasty with adult relationships. If dd can pretend to be a doctor, why not a girlfriend?

Then there's the whole weird thing in america where "kissing" is totally OK in any kid over say 12, but kids are not supposed to have sex till, what college? marriage? I got married at 28. Was I supposed to spend all my relationships necking for 16 years?

Ugh. I know this one incident does not mean I have to have a global appraisal of my attitudes towards sex or any kind of major "sex" talk. Dd knows how babies are made, and playing g-friend has nothing to do, in her mind, with that activity. It just brings up a lot of issues for me.

I think maybe it was easier when people just had arranged marriages in their teens.

Any words of advice from moms who've been there?
mommyofshmoo is offline  
#2 of 10 Old 10-09-2006, 03:59 PM
 
wifty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Kansas City, KS
Posts: 800
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't have much to offer but wanted to say that I totally commiserate with you! I am pretty open about sex and affection, but even still, its hard to believe that its something I will have to deal with my DD sooner then later.

It amazes me that they even pick up on playing boyfriend/girlfriend, but I know from my own personal experience as a child, that such relationships start early.

Maybe the newness will wear off and she will move onto playing something else......but you can't count on that.

I would just really stress that certain areas are private and that you don't have to kiss someone...you can always say no.

Giving her the tools to deal with situations is really the only option that I see. And, not to worry you, but intimate contact can happen between 2 girls as well as it can with a boy and a girl, so limiting contact with boys wouldn't really be an answer.

Good luck!!
wifty is offline  
#3 of 10 Old 10-09-2006, 04:43 PM
 
fyoosh's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 465
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My son has had a "girlfriend" since he was about 14 months old, and they are almost four now (he is a day older than her : it's so cute!) I don't know if they kiss or anything -- they see each other every day in what used to be daycare, and now is their preschool/pre-k program.

Kissing like boyfriend/girlfriends do could simply be a kiss on the lips as opposed to a cheek. Kids describe things differently than we would sometimes. A friend of mine's 6 year old (who is now about 14) told my ex husband and I she'd leave us alone if we wanted to have sex... which raised our eyebrows a bit but it turns out that when her parents queried her about sex, she thought "having sex" was kissing

I wouldn't worry too much One breath at a time...
fyoosh is offline  
#4 of 10 Old 10-09-2006, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
mommyofshmoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,418
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wifty View Post
I don't have much to offer but wanted to say that I totally commiserate with you! I am pretty open about sex and affection, but even still, its hard to believe that its something I will have to deal with my DD sooner then later.

It amazes me that they even pick up on playing boyfriend/girlfriend, but I know from my own personal experience as a child, that such relationships start early.

Maybe the newness will wear off and she will move onto playing something else......but you can't count on that.

I would just really stress that certain areas are private and that you don't have to kiss someone...you can always say no.

Giving her the tools to deal with situations is really the only option that I see. And, not to worry you, but intimate contact can happen between 2 girls as well as it can with a boy and a girl, so limiting contact with boys wouldn't really be an answer.

Good luck!!
Thanks for the support.

The kissing thing- I don't at all get the sense that she was unhappy about it. I'm pretty positive she was the instigator. Still, it's good to talk about that kind of thing, in case it comes up and she's not happy about it.

About girl-on-girl action. I went to an all girl school from k-3, and had no male friends, so I did occasionally make out with my little girl friends. It was just the same kind of experimentation- but whithout boys around.

I guess I feel awkward because I feel it's my job to head off this type of thing- but I don't exactly know why.

Is it impolite? I'm not religious, so I don't think there's a "purity" issue. I mean, I wouldn't want her to have sex- but can little kids even do that? Am I worried about her getting "cooties"? I suppose kissing is a way to catch germs.

I'm on shaky ground here.
mommyofshmoo is offline  
#5 of 10 Old 10-09-2006, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
mommyofshmoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,418
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by fyoosh View Post
My son has had a "girlfriend" since he was about 14 months old, and they are almost four now (he is a day older than her : it's so cute!) I don't know if they kiss or anything -- they see each other every day in what used to be daycare, and now is their preschool/pre-k program.

Kissing like boyfriend/girlfriends do could simply be a kiss on the lips as opposed to a cheek. Kids describe things differently than we would sometimes. A friend of mine's 6 year old (who is now about 14) told my ex husband and I she'd leave us alone if we wanted to have sex... which raised our eyebrows a bit but it turns out that when her parents queried her about sex, she thought "having sex" was kissing

I wouldn't worry too much One breath at a time...
Thanks!

I know what she means by kissing because she's done it to me. The first time she saw people kissing like that was in a movie I was watching that she caught a glimpse of. She saw the people, then climbed on my lap and pretended to kiss me like they did on tv. It was kinda cute, and maybe a little weird.

Ah well, this too shall pass. I won't get too worked up. Thanks for the perspective.
mommyofshmoo is offline  
#6 of 10 Old 10-09-2006, 06:03 PM
 
becoming's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 11,886
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My DS has had a "girlfriend" since he was 2, and a different one every school year at that. I don't think it's harmful. I have never quizzed him on whether they hold hands, kiss, etc., but wouldn't be upset if they had. I think it's healthy experimentation. Now if something about sex comes up, I might be alarmed, but chances are, at her young age, it's all innocent fun.
becoming is offline  
#7 of 10 Old 10-10-2006, 08:04 AM
 
Indigomama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: The beautiful hudson valley of NY
Posts: 405
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So I can totally relate to you freaking out..


Son is in kindergarten - came home the other day to tell me he had a girlfriend he kisses on the bus and that she thinks he's handsome even though he has pimples...

Oh brother...

I am trying to look at this situation in the positive... it really stretches me to have a great conversation with ds about the whole kissing /boyfriend/girlfriend thing in a really positive way.

For me - I wanted to come out of the conversation
A) understanding that he shouldn't be kissing a girlfriend at age 5
B) Reinforce privacy
C) Feel good about telling me he had a girlfriend
D) Not feel bad about kissing


I didn't just try to sit down and have the conversation.. it spanned like 5 days of banter back and forth with a conversation with his "girlfriends" mom who could do the same thing with Hailey.

Hang in there... it's so normal.. tons of parents are going through the same thing right now!!!!!
Indigomama is offline  
#8 of 10 Old 10-10-2006, 08:52 AM
 
gaialice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,236
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I love this thread. So cute to hear all these stories of baby-boyfriends and baby-girlfriends. My dd2 (age 4) recently told me she is "in love" with a little boy (age 5) who is in the same pre-K. I do not think it is a whole lot different than if she had become close friends with another little girl. In fact, I am very glad she has found a good friend that she enjoys playing with, I am always afraid that she may feel lonely in the pre-K. I think it is totally OK if they kiss, even if "not quite on the cheek"... but yeah, I understand the OP it is a bit (just a bit) weird!!!
gaialice is offline  
#9 of 10 Old 10-10-2006, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
mommyofshmoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,418
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Indigomama View Post
So I can totally relate to you freaking out..


Son is in kindergarten - came home the other day to tell me he had a girlfriend he kisses on the bus and that she thinks he's handsome even though he has pimples...

Oh brother...

I am trying to look at this situation in the positive... it really stretches me to have a great conversation with ds about the whole kissing /boyfriend/girlfriend thing in a really positive way.

For me - I wanted to come out of the conversation
A) understanding that he shouldn't be kissing a girlfriend at age 5
B) Reinforce privacy
C) Feel good about telling me he had a girlfriend
D) Not feel bad about kissing


I didn't just try to sit down and have the conversation.. it spanned like 5 days of banter back and forth with a conversation with his "girlfriends" mom who could do the same thing with Hailey.

Hang in there... it's so normal.. tons of parents are going through the same thing right now!!!!!

I, too, was glad dd was able to talk to me about this. I never would have talked to my mom about kissing a boy- though I did tell her about my preschool crush. I knew kissing was "bad", or at least "naughty."

I guess my biggest concern was that I felt it was my job to tell her not to kiss boys, and at the same time I couldn't for the life if me figure out why.
So I said nothing.

I feel that kids get confusing messages about kissing- and about relationships. There's "cutesy" posters all over the place showing toddlers in easter outfits kissing. Yet so much about intimate physical contact is taboo in our culture. Heck- people even get weirded out by breastfeeding.

There's pressure on kids to grow up so fast, but not grow up at all.

I'm glad other parents are going though the same thing, but I wish I better understood how to feel. Other cultures have more guidance about how kid's should (or shouldn't) develop intimate relationships. In American culture there's this understanding that kids will hold hands and neck (and later do other stuff) but that it has to be behind their parents' back, and that as a parent you need to tell them not to do stuff, but then you'd be worried if they weren't "developing normally" by sneaking around and kissing necking in attics, cars, friends' basements.

Our culture is almost deliberately two faced.
mommyofshmoo is offline  
#10 of 10 Old 10-10-2006, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
mommyofshmoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,418
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gaialice View Post
I love this thread. So cute to hear all these stories of baby-boyfriends and baby-girlfriends. My dd2 (age 4) recently told me she is "in love" with a little boy (age 5) who is in the same pre-K. I do not think it is a whole lot different than if she had become close friends with another little girl. In fact, I am very glad she has found a good friend that she enjoys playing with, I am always afraid that she may feel lonely in the pre-K. I think it is totally OK if they kiss, even if "not quite on the cheek"... but yeah, I understand the OP it is a bit (just a bit) weird!!!
It's nice to read about people who aren't bothered by this kind of stuff. Reminds me that this is more "my issue" than anything to do with dd.
mommyofshmoo is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off