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Old 02-15-2009, 10:51 AM
 
2,466 posts, read 4,196,858 times
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What you are describing about your daughter and her having a "boyfriend" at the age of 11 is normal. Kids need to go through the puppy love and crush stages as it's how they learn what they want in a mate when the right time comes. They all have to go through a certain amount of heartaches before they truely know what the heart wants and needs.

I agree with you though that your daughter should not be allowed to go on actual dates at this age and there is a good chance that the thought of actual dates at this time hasn't even crossed their minds. Heck the thought of dates with a bunch of friends probably hasn't crossed their minds yet either. That is a few years down the road possibly around 14. Then the whole group of kids dates would be more appropriate over single couple dates.

Kids at this age are just starting to learn about love and what love actually means. They are going to be in "love" many times from here on out. They are going to have their heart broken many times over. There will be tears and some drama over breakups. You just have to learn how to be supportive and walk them through the upsets. They bounce back pretty quickly usually and before you know it, they will be "in love" again in no time.

Just don't let your daughter become to clingy and feel like she has to live every waking moment with her boyfriend/s. Give her the confidence that she needs to know that she does not have to have a boyfriend or a boy in her life to make her complete and/or a better person. Give her the strength she needs to know that she can stand on her own without a boyfriend but at the same time let her experience the puppy love and crush stages.
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Old 02-15-2009, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Land of 10000 Lakes +
5,554 posts, read 5,859,694 times
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For me, it's simply a definite NO. I've heard of it, but I think it's absolutely ridiculous.
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Old 02-15-2009, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Royal Palm Beach, FL.
63 posts, read 76,291 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maciesmom View Post
That is what I would consider "playground drama" - that is pretty routine I think but you would be surprised at some of the things that go on and that some parents allow. DD had a classmate who, in 5th grade, had a valentine's party at her house...."couples only"...the parents took pictures of the "couples" sitting in the hot tub together....can I just say "ew"? She did have friends who dated (one on one actual dates) in 5th grade. DS had a classmate who ran up her cell phone bill texting 5000 messages in one month to her "boyfriend"....Keep talking with your DD to find out (not drilling just talking) what is going on with her and her friends. It is most likely nothing much but it's a good time to start being more aware of what is going on in her group of friends.....
Well, let's just say this is a very ''advanced'' group of 5th graders and have been that way for a very long time.. lots of things are said both at school and out in public with sexual content, kids have been going to the mall alone since 4th grade etc just stuff like that that you would normally not expect from the typical class of 5th graders. There has already been many boy-girl parties.. which I allowed both of my daughters to attend (they're twins) and they claim none of the ''bad stuff'' went on, but truthfully, I don't know if I should believe them, knowing that group of kids.

I simply asked her to tell me more about the boy, and she was very unwilling to tell me anything. I was hoping I could get something out of her twin sister, she said that Tatem told her not to tell mom or dad anything.. so I don't really know where to go from there.. I can't force her to stop talking to this boy, since he's in her class at school. I would let it go.. but when I found out that she didn't want my husband or I to know anything about it, that makes me a little worried.
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Old 02-15-2009, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Texas
14,969 posts, read 13,744,890 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyoquilter View Post
What you are describing about your daughter and her having a "boyfriend" at the age of 11 is normal. Kids need to go through the puppy love and crush stages as it's how they learn what they want in a mate when the right time comes. They all have to go through a certain amount of heartaches before they truely know what the heart wants and needs.

I agree with you though that your daughter should not be allowed to go on actual dates at this age and there is a good chance that the thought of actual dates at this time hasn't even crossed their minds. Heck the thought of dates with a bunch of friends probably hasn't crossed their minds yet either. That is a few years down the road possibly around 14. Then the whole group of kids dates would be more appropriate over single couple dates.

Kids at this age are just starting to learn about love and what love actually means. They are going to be in "love" many times from here on out. They are going to have their heart broken many times over. There will be tears and some drama over breakups. You just have to learn how to be supportive and walk them through the upsets. They bounce back pretty quickly usually and before you know it, they will be "in love" again in no time.

Just don't let your daughter become to clingy and feel like she has to live every waking moment with her boyfriend/s. Give her the confidence that she needs to know that she does not have to have a boyfriend or a boy in her life to make her complete and/or a better person. Give her the strength she needs to know that she can stand on her own without a boyfriend but at the same time let her experience the puppy love and crush stages.
The problem is that today many kids treat their "boyfriends" and "girlfriends" at the age of 11 as anything but puppy love.
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Old 02-15-2009, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Denver area
21,129 posts, read 22,064,957 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinsts71 View Post
Well, let's just say this is a very ''advanced'' group of 5th graders and have been that way for a very long time.. lots of things are said both at school and out in public with sexual content, kids have been going to the mall alone since 4th grade etc just stuff like that that you would normally not expect from the typical class of 5th graders. There has already been many boy-girl parties.. which I allowed both of my daughters to attend (they're twins) and they claim none of the ''bad stuff'' went on, but truthfully, I don't know if I should believe them, knowing that group of kids.

I simply asked her to tell me more about the boy, and she was very unwilling to tell me anything. I was hoping I could get something out of her twin sister, she said that Tatem told her not to tell mom or dad anything.. so I don't really know where to go from there.. I can't force her to stop talking to this boy, since he's in her class at school. I would let it go.. but when I found out that she didn't want my husband or I to know anything about it, that makes me a little worried.
Wow...you have a lot to think about. Honestly, I think paying attention to the character of the group is a huge thing. If this is a pretty "fast" group, even if your DD's are not, peer pressure is huge at this age and even good kids can be talked into stuff that they know better than, just to be included. My advice is to have definite rules regarding how much time is spent on the phone/internet; keep the facebook/aim/ whatever as "public" as possible (ie yes, I know there are ways around parental controls and they can create and use sites on computers other than home etc etc but at least don't make it easy for them!); keep talking to them (not at them); keep them busy (sports, activities, clubs). Busy kids have better self confidence and less time for drama. Good luck, you are entering a very very difficult time.
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Old 02-15-2009, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
1,461 posts, read 4,090,636 times
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5th grade seems a little young to have a for real boyfriend. I too would like to think that kids at this age are talkin the talk but unfortunately they may not be. I raised a boy so although I can sympathize with your concern, I did have the other end of the spectrum to worry about and it is a tad easier with a boy I am afraid. How do I know this....I come from a family of 5 girls no boys and I know what we went through.

Regardless, I see no harm in the boy coming to your home or your daughter going to his but other than that, no unsupervised dating at this age would be my take on it.

You are not going to be able to keep your daughter from getting her heart broken by a boy. Gosh, think back to how many times you got yours broken while growing up. I know I had mine broken several times before I finally settled down with one person. We all would like to protect our kids to the enth degree but unfortunately some things kind of just have to happen like lost loves.

It sounds like you have a pretty good handle on this so I would stay the course with this one. Good Luck.
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Old 02-15-2009, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Denver area
21,129 posts, read 22,064,957 times
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Quote:
You are not going to be able to keep your daughter from getting her heart broken by a boy. Gosh, think back to how many times you got yours broken while growing up. I know I had mine broken several times before I finally settled down with one person. We all would like to protect our kids to the enth degree but unfortunately some things kind of just have to happen like lost loves.
Heck, having your heart broken is an important part of life. It's the concept of dating and especially being part of a group of "advanced" friends that is more worrisome to me....
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Old 02-15-2009, 12:24 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
13,074 posts, read 17,587,419 times
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The last thing I would do is "leave it alone " . I would however open up the lines of communication and be direct . the poster here who suggested talking about it was spot on . Tell them that if they want to go to the movies then they are going to have to use their own money maybe from babysitting but at 11 yrs old I would not let them babysit at all . In my opinion much too young to baby sit . anyways always keep the lines of communication open with your child but at the same time lay down the law about what is acceptable and what is not . good luck to you .
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Old 02-15-2009, 12:48 PM
 
Location: NE Oklahoma
1,036 posts, read 2,574,236 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinsts71 View Post
Ever heard of this? My 11 yo apparently has a "boyfriend" (not sure if it's an actual boyfriend or just they both like each other) and I'm really not sure what to think of it.. most of her friends also have a one. way around adults and act very different around kids their ages. <CLIPPED>
Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!


My 11 year old daughter has a boyfriend. They have "been together" for 3 years. They are very much committed to each other. Two and half years ago when I found out about her bf I started asking her all the usual questions. What do you do with a bf? When do you see him? All those things. It was a playground romance much like I remember from when I was in grade school. They don't even call each other. Mainly they eat lunch together SOMETIMES, hold hands on the playground, and sit together in the 1 class they have together. When she rides the bus to my mother's they sit together on the bus.
I started to get concerned when she told me that she has discovered the bus driver couldn't see ya if you scrunched down in the seat. Ummmm yeah. She wouldn't tell me what they did when they scrunched down but she turned red faced. Needless to say she don't ride the bus much anymore. Last summer they had lunch together at McDonald's. Julie, myself, and my older daughter met his mom, him and his sister at the restaurant. While they did sit next to each other..it was by no means private or alone...not even at the next table.
They are both on the academic team and his sister is in my Girl Scout troop so the afternoons that we have Practice or meetings they all (my 2 daughters, him and his sister) walk home to my house. Since I am almost always home it isn't a big deal. Plus I have talked to his mom alot about it and together we have talked to the kids. About things like respecting each other and why it is important to finish your education before you get married...because they do talk about getting married after they finish college.

Fast forward to the last month. Hubby's job is moving so we have to move also. She is very upset about the whole thing. Of course, we will still be having Girl Scouts in our troop maybe once a month meetings or something with his sister, so I am sure she will get to see him a bit. I doubt it will be enough to keep this little romance going though. They seem to be quite tenacious about the whole thing though so who knows.

I think it has overall been a good experience. It has taught her commitment (lots of other boys have "ask her out" at the same time), she has learned how to work out problems in a relationship (last year for Valentine's day he wanted to kiss her on the mouth and she wouldn't let him. They broke up for almost 3 months until they both agreed they wanted to go together more than he wanted to kiss her on the mouth. *She informed me the cheek was ok though*), they have both learned that they have to make allowances for the other person and what is important to them (he wanted to go deer hunting with his dad more than to the dance last fall can you say OMG THE DRAMA... she was upset...then we discussed how somethings are important to him and you have to accept it as part of him and his life..if you want to be part of his life. Either that or find a diff bf.)

I think those are things that you learn in teen relationships and I also look at it as...I don't have to deal with a "flavor of the week" thing..like some of her friends do. That would be worse to me.
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Old 02-15-2009, 02:00 PM
 
1,986 posts, read 3,461,613 times
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Kids that age change boyfriends like they do their socks. When my daughter told me in fifth grade that 'so-and-so is going with so-and-so', I asked her what that meant. She didn't know, but she thought is was when they liked each other, not actively be what adults, or even teens would think of as going with somebody. Now she's in high school and is 15 and a sophomore. Just this weekend she became a girlfriend for the first time. I asked her what her intentions are. She says kissing is out of the question, but maybe hold hands from time to time, and do a lot of talking.

Guide kids from the start, not micromanage them when they show signs of growing up. What is in your head is most likely not what is in their heads.
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