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Amy H.

Excellent post, I wholeheartedly agree. I have never understood friends and family members that make a point of talking about little Sally's boyfriend in kindergarten. I just don't get it! I do like her anecdote;)

Janice

I also agree. But when the children are at school, their world blooms into a whole new sphere. Other kids have siblings that are engaged or have boyfriends and its only natural that the younger ones talk to their peers about love and 'boyfriends' and 'girlfriends'. My son takes the most ribbing from his older sister b/c he sits on the bus with a girl from his class.(she likes his Lego magazine)
Garrett pashaws the whole idea, but I can tell he's secretly pleased.

Kathleen

i find this post really beautiful, & it questions my own thoughts about how i'll face this issue once my daughter is that age. you've written down my exact feelings quite well. thank you !

Pearl

Well stated. My daughter in grade one announced in the car yesterday that someone told her the world record book has a 10 year old girl who had a baby. Now that's a whole other challenge!

Angela

wow, yup, that's a tough one and one I hadn't really thought about until now. I tend to agree with your thoughts on the whole thing. I remember a few different girls from my class and they started to talk about getting married and having kids at a very young age...and it became very apparent that that was their goal in life (not that there's anything necessarily wrong with that) but it does make me wonder if their parents encouraged that from the get go...I suspect so.

Diana

I remember a similar conversation with my seven year-old. We were nicely lying on a blanket in our backyard watching the clouds go by when she asked, "how will I know he's the right one?" Jolt to reality.

JeanMac

What trust she has in you. I'd never have shared a conversation like that with my Mom.

Marin

We were talking about this in class, how parents typically enforce the boy-girl adult relationship on young children. I'm sure people don't mean to do it, but they do and I agree completely that it does seem to be a social imperative rather than a parental one.

Christie

How much of this is also just the young child's tendency to copy adult behaviour? How different is this from my daughter pretending to do dishes at her little kitchen, or pretending to go out the door, and immediately walking back in and yelling, "I'm home from work!" Is "pretending to marriage" an evolution of that same tendency, or is it wholly different?

FreshMD

@Christie: I've wondered the same thing. I think the difference is that when kids play house or kitchen, they know that they're pretending. When Saskia talks about being in love or asks about children marrying, she's absolutely serious. When she plays with her toys and the stuffed bear marries the Persian cat, then she's pretending, and I don't discourage it. But when actual friendships are affected by preoccupations with being matched up with the opposite sex, I have some reservations.

celeste allyn

I remember telling my niece she was not allowed to date until she was 50.

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About

  • I'm a Canadian doctor with four kids. I spend most days in Vancouver and nights in the quiet of Deep Cove. I value idleness and reflection, which means I work part-time and we're often out of milk.
  • Credentials: BSc, MD, CCFP
  • I do not represent my employer or institution.
  • FreshMDblog AT gmail DOT com

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