Time for boyfriends...or not....HELP!


#1

My 12 year old daughter has developed a crush on a 10 year old boy - a team mate - and the feeling is mutual.

They see each other at practice every day, five days a week for about 90 minutes. They e-mail each other and phone once in a while.

I know his parents and they seem to be nice people. Devout baptists, but hey, nobody’s perfect :smiley: (just kidding!) This little boy is home schooled.

At these ages, can I assume this is all harmless?

IMO, they can think they are “boyfriend and girlfriend” as they call it, but I am taking it all lightly and just treat it like they are good friends and who doesn’t have a ton of those?

I need guidance from those of you who have older children and have already lived through this “puppy love” pre-teen stuff.

Speak, oh wise ones… :bowdown:

But first, a couple more questions…

There is a book at CA called “The Princess’ First Kiss” or something like that. Does anyone know if it’s age appropriate for my 12 year old?

Also the Pure Love Club appears to be too “old” for my 12 year old - am I right?

Also, I think there is a Catholic magazine geared towards teen age girls called "True Girl " ?? somehting like that. Again, is 12 too young??

Guidance, please. Thank you!!


#2

IMO, as the mother of 3 males & 3 females aged 17 - 30, I would be pushing the friendship angle. My kids were taught that 15-16 was when they could ‘date’ others in a group situation.

If you can get hold of a video (dvd?) by Mary Beth Bonacci called Sex and Love, What’s a Teenager to do? I think you should do so.

I have seen kids younger than your daughter who agonise over having a boyfriend and vice versa. Their childhood and time of innocence is stolen away from them much too soon these days.


#3

[quote=Eileen T]IMO, as the mother of 3 males & 3 females aged 17 - 30, I would be pushing the friendship angle. My kids were taught that 15-16 was when they could ‘date’ others in a group situation.

If you can get hold of a video (dvd?) by Mary Beth Bonacci called Sex and Love, What’s a Teenager to do? I think you should do so.

I have seen kids younger than your daughter who agonise over having a boyfriend and vice versa. Their childhood and time of innocence is stolen away from them much too soon these days.
[/quote]

So what I’m gathering from your post is that 12 is way too young to be entertaining such notions and that I should discourage it?

Thanks


#4

My oldest is 12, and I wouldn’t let him have a “girlfriend” at this age. Of course, he is still a very young (immature) twelve, and doesn’t even know what a girlfriend is.

I got The Squire and the Scroll for my boys; it is the masculine companion book to The Princess and the Kiss. These books are written for young children, but the older ones still like them because the stories are so true. There is a study guide to go with the Princess that covers modesty and such. I have heard of this being covered in Sunday School classes for young teen girls.

Sorry, but I have no experience with the True Love Club or the magazine, but the homeschool moms on 4Real Learning might be able to help.


#5

My 11 year old dd has a “boyfriend” in her class. In the beginning of the year she told me he asked her to be his girlfriend and she said yes.
breathe
I very nonchalantly asked her what does that entail. She said, well, we might sit together at lunch, maybe hang out at recess, maybe talk on the phone…she looked at me and said, Oh, gross mom, are you asking me if I’m going to KISS HIM???
breathe normally

They really don’t talk on the phone at all. Once his mom was in the hospital and I told her it might be a nice gesture to call him and see how his mom was doing. My dd is very athletic and prefers to spend recess shooting baskets. He’s not inclined to athletics so they don’t spend a whole lot of time with each other. She is the odd girl out in her class (there are 3 girls and the other two pair up and exclude her) so I think she likes knowing she can sit with him if the other girls are being mean.

He has a younger sister who is friends with my younger dd. We have done things together with the 4 of them. When he is at our house he usually brings his Star Wars DVD and wants to talk Star Wars with her. So far it has all been innocent. He is a nice kid, his dad is the principal of the local public high school and the mom is not well, so I am glad to help the family out by having them over once in a while. I do make sure that it is both him and his sister, so not to cause scandal.

I did buy her the Princess and the Kiss. She thought it was a cute story and understood the meaning, but feels she is too old for picture books. She is an avid reader, and prefers longer chapter books.

She did subscribe to True Girl. It is a brand new magazine, and they have only had one issue so far. The second one should be here shortly. She is on the younger side of the reader base, but hopefully there should be enough in there to interest her. We subscribed to that when we were boycotting American Girl, and I refused to renew her subscription to that magazine, so of course, she is listing all the reason why this magazine is not as good as American Girl.

Arlene


#6

As a mother of 6 & 4 year old girls, I am not there yet. However, my hair has just turned gray after reading this thread :o !! I don’t want my babies to grow up!!! :crying:


#7

Guideposts has a magazine for young girls. I think it’s called Sweet Sixteen. You might check that out.


#8

I am going to watch the situation closely and I am going to start dropping hints that say “This better not be more than just a new friend” (iow - forget about kissing :eek: and don’t tell everybody you are “dating”)

:frowning:


#9

I’ve heard good things about True Girl as well as the Princess and the Squire books.

My opinion is it depends on what you think dating is for.


Dating is an effort at finding a future spouse. It isn’t about “hanging out”. It isn’t about being good friends. You don’t call those type of relationships “dates”. Dating when looked at that way is very serious stuff and not for those who aren’t ready to explore a deep relationship.


IMHO, 12 is way too young for the words dating or boy/girlfriend. I would discourage it strongly to the point of flatout banning it. All of my dc are welcome to have friends over of either sex, but it is not exclusive or private.


Now, your dd may not understand that yet. But in a very short while she will start to expect more from such relationships and if you say it’s okay to have a boyfriend (regardless of the type or extent of the relationship) now, you’re going to have a hard time convincing her it’s not okay to go on dates and such later.


Not sure I’ve said this very well, but that’s how my dh and feel about this and hope to instill these sentiments in our children.


#10

I agree with Rob’s Wife completely. The dynamics of this relationship could change over night. As you pray about this matter, ask yourself and the Lord what your daughter finds fulfilling in this relationship. What is she gaining? Attention? Status? Relief from loneliness? Or just plain attraction, that is, they hit it off and really enjoy each other’s company? Regardless, this relationship seems very intense, especially considering that the boy is only ten. What sort of team do they play together on?

If you can figure out what your daughter is gaining, then you can best understand what to do about the direction this relationship is heading in. I’d nix the phone calls right now, and the emails as well. They aren’t appropriate at all between two preteens. Your daughter must be shown, gently, that her social needs are best met with girls her age, not younger boys (although I’m sure that this boy is probably a little more mature than most 10 year olds). Moreover, I can’t imagine that a homeschooling family would want to encourage this relationship either. Perhaps you could call this boy’s mother and get her perspective on the matter.

Do not fall into thinking that this puppy love is cute, for it can undermine the emotional development your daughter requires to be a secure, happy teenage girl. It isn’t cute and might lead to kissing in the next year or two. Your job is to ask yourself if this team is worth your daughter’s getting sucked into a relationship she isn’t emotionally designed to handle, also you must ask yourself if your daughter is watching television shows that encourage this sort of behavior. Your daughter is in sixth or seventh grade in a regular school or homeschool? Well, you need to be more involved in her social life, move it beyond her team, and invite 12 year old girls (one-by-one, small groups, or perhaps even a party) into your home to fill these needs. If you decide to discourage this relationship altogether (and that is what I would do in your position), then don’t call the boy’s mother.


#11

[quote=Cupofkindness]I agree with Rob’s Wife completely. The dynamics of this relationship could change over night. As you pray about this matter, ask yourself and the Lord what your daughter finds fulfilling in this relationship. What is she gaining? Attention? Status? Relief from loneliness? Or just plain attraction, that is, they hit it off and really enjoy each other’s company? Regardless, this relationship seems very intense, especially considering that the boy is only ten. What sort of team do they play together on?

If you can figure out what your daughter is gaining, then you can best understand what to do about the direction this relationship is heading in. I’d nix the phone calls right now, and the emails as well. They aren’t appropriate at all between two preteens. Your daughter must be shown, gently, that her social needs are best met with girls her age, not younger boys (although I’m sure that this boy is probably a little more mature than most 10 year olds). Moreover, I can’t imagine that a homeschooling family would want to encourage this relationship either. Perhaps you could call this boy’s mother and get her perspective on the matter.

Do not fall into thinking that this puppy love is cute, for it can undermine the emotional development your daughter requires to be a secure, happy teenage girl. It isn’t cute and might lead to kissing in the next year or two. Your job is to ask yourself if this team is worth your daughter’s getting sucked into a relationship she isn’t emotionally designed to handle, also you must ask yourself if your daughter is watching television shows that encourage this sort of behavior. Your daughter is in sixth or seventh grade in a regular school or homeschool? Well, you need to be more involved in her social life, move it beyond her team, and invite 12 year old girls (one-by-one, small groups, or perhaps even a party) into your home to fill these needs. If you decide to discourage this relationship altogether (and that is what I would do in your position), then don’t call the boy’s mother.
[/quote]

Both you and Rob’s Wife have put this situation into words that I was unable to find. I agree with both of you and I now have the confidence to speak with her about it straight out. No more phone calls, no bf/gf. They can e-mail but no going to other websites (haven’t seen this yet but don’t like it). I can monitor the emails.

I was afraid of making a mountain out of a mole hill but your posts have validated my gut feelings.

My daughter is in the 6th grade in a catholic school. The boy in question is home schooled and his family is baptist - very active in their church.

The team is a swim team. This winter session we’ve only had 18 kids altogether (it’s a reslatively new team) and most of them are home schooled (wha’ts up with that??) Anyway, they are all nice kids and nice parents - we got to know each other pretty well doing all that “pool time” during swim meets - and dinners together during out of town meets.

So, I AM comfortable with the group - just not with this situation that has developed.

Thanks for your input. I’ll keep you posted if you’re interested…

God bless… :slight_smile:


#12

As the mom of a 12 y.o. girl–the other thing I would suggest to (seriously) consider is where they are physically–as in puberty. If there is “nothing” going on, it may be just a juvenile friendship, no more. If, however, one or both are starting that maturation process, there may well be more involved in response to raging hormones despite their seeming young ages. In that case I would be far more involved and make efforts to limit and supervise their developing relationship and time together.


#13

I was afraid of making a mountain out of a mole hill but your posts have validated my gut feelings.

:yup: **I understand that completely. And it may be just a mole hill right now. The key is to make sure dirt isn’t piled on until it become a mountain.:slight_smile: **

[quote=Island Oak]As the mom of a 12 y.o. girl–the other thing I would suggest to (seriously) consider is where they are physically–as in puberty.
[/quote]

:yup: I have a boy that’s 11 and, bless his heart, he really is a bit clueless as to why he is thinking the way he is these days. More than that, he honestly isn’t even aware that his thinking is changing! I explained what I’ve noticed to my dh, who really was okay with being just as oblivious, in this manner:

2 years ago when we went to the park I would hear ds say, “Oh look! There’s kids here today!” and off he’d go to make a new friend not even really seeming to notice genders at all.

1 year ago when we went to the park I would hear him say, “Oh cool! There’s boys my age here. I wonder if they have gameboys too?” and off he’d go. There may have been a mixed pack of kids, but he noticed the boys.

THIS year I heard, “Hey look at that girl over there. She seems nice…” and off he goes to make a new friend. Oh-oh.

**My ds really wasn’t looking for a “girl-friend”, but these are wee little signs that his maturity is changing. So we sat him down and had a nice little talk about how he’s becoming a young man and young men do not treat girls the same as boys. Young men treat ALL girls like ladies and should always act like gentlemen with them, which means following certain rules of conduct. We found a great way to explain this is to illustrate the relationship mom and dad have. Dc may not understand the whys or details, but they do instrictively know that mommys and daddys shouldn’t react to anyone quite the same way as they do their spouse.


**For example, they would be shocked to see mommy kissing the UPS guy. They may not completely understand why, but they instictively know that is NOT right and that’s for daddy only.:wink:

ETA: I don’t mind if they are social with girls or boys. For me, the most important thing is that it is done in proper conduct and within our family scope at these ages. I hope they always bring friends into our home and that this attitude will encourage them to always bring dates by when they are older. You never know which one of those young friend may turn out to be your future son/duaghter-in-law, so I want them all to be welcome in our family. Just in case…**


#14

[quote=Little Mary]I was afraid of making a mountain out of a mole hill but your posts have validated my gut feelings.

God bless… :slight_smile:
[/quote]

More specifically, I don’t want to over-react and start putting thoughts into her head that aren’t there.

But, my daughter is developing all right! She has started her period and has “buds”. We have had the “talk” to include where babies come from.

This little boy is two years younger so I don’t know where he is on the puberty track.

My own son is the same age (10) - I’m going to point that out!! :smiley:

Please say a prayer for me - we are going for a mother-daughter lunch right now and I’m going to bring the subject up and let my rules be known!!


#15

The rule at our house, no dating until you are 16. DD is in third grade (age 9) and is already coming home telling me so and so has a crush on her and he is really cute. I have to say I am relieved that she is having these normal attractions for the opposite sex, but I always remind her “Well, you can’t have a boyfriend until your 16. I understand why he likes you though, your a lovely girl.”

My mom was a nurse and I use the body talk that she gave me with my daughter. I am pregnant with #3 and so my daughter knows that babies grow in the mommies tummy. She is not sure how they get there, she hasn’t asked yet,but I will tell you how I explain things.

there is a house inside of a woman’s body called a uterus. Every month, if there is no baby in the house, the body cleans the house, and we have our period. Your body isn’t ready to have a baby just yet when you begin to have your period, but it needs to get ready for when you get married and are ready to have a baby, so its starts early so you get to know your body very well beforehand. How do babies get there? A cell from the mommy and a cell from the daddy come together and from those cells, a baby starts to grow. Your cells are called eggs and you were born with all the eggs you will ever have. That is why it is important to never do drugs or anything else that may hurt those eggs, because it may hurt your baby later on in life.

You get the point. These are things I have siad to my daughter since she noticed me changing my pad at my time of the month. It is information that is easily accessable and understandable for her at this age.


#16

Just to add, there is already a rule at our house that when the neighborhood boys come over to play, the door stays open on her bedroom. I don’t expect anything to happen, but I am not taking ny chances.


#17

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