Below is part of a conversation that took place between me and my son about his girlfriend.
My son: “I asked her if she would have me as her boyfriend”
Me: “What did she say?”
My son: “She said yes and asked me if I would have her as my girlfriend and I said yes.”
Me: “So how long have you guys been dating?”
My son: “We’re not dating! We are boyfriend and girlfriend!”
Me: “What do you like about her?”
My son: “Her personality.”
My son: “Everyone thinks that we shouldn’t be dating!!”
My son: “Because she’s in fourth grade and I’m in third. They (his classmates) said that she should have a boyfriend in the fourth grade.”
My son: “Mom, can we have a play date on Saturday?”
Me: “We won’t be doing a play date, but you must introduce me to her.”
My son: “Okay mom. If she’s at school when you pick me up tomorrow, I’ll introduce you.”
Uh, yeah! This is a real conversation that I had with my nine-year old earlier this week. Hubby drives him to school and I pick him up after school. When he’s not in a talkative mood, the ride home is quiet and I must work hard at getting feedback from him about his day at school. Other times, like today, he’s chatty and hardly stops talking to take a deep breath.
Curiosity led me to ask, “What does it mean to have a girlfriend? He said, “It means I really like her.” Therefore, in the mind of my nine-year old, “really liking” someone is cause for the establishment of a serious relationship.
On the surface, the statement might sound reasonable. However, the reality is that to like someone you must spend a great deal of time getting to know them. I’m not talking about a physical attraction or chemistry, but instead the formidable journey of getting to know and then learning to love that special someone, including all of their idiosyncrasies.
Anyway, I can see that I have my work set out for me with my son and the girl thing. He’s definitely a “looker” and pays attention to a girl’s hair, clothing, and even how they smell. He certainly caught me off guard. My 22-year-old showed no interest in a boyfriend until her late teens.
As with our oldest, we monitor T.V . shows and movies that he watches. Still, he’s overexposed like the rest of our kids. The fact of the matter is that we cannot keep our kids under a rock and shelter them from the real world. The real world is in their face with a vengeance every day.
As parents we must talk, talk, and talk some more. Talk to the kids about EVERYTHING, nothing is off-limits. Answer questions truthfully without using made up or silly words.
My son’s declaration of his first official “girlfriend” is confirmation that he’s ready for our conversation to take on greater depth and meaning. I can’t wait for him to introduce me to his girlfriend! The introduction is a perfect Segway for what will prove to be an intriguing conversation. I’ll keep you posted.
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