Dating drama -- at 7 years old
“Oh no you don’t,” I replied. “You don’t have boyfriends at 7 years old.”
Never mind that I chased a blond, curly-haired boy named Cory all around the playground in first grade. I gave him the "special" valentine, and if he had passed me a note asking me to be his girlfriend, yes or no, I would have circled yes.
But that’s me. And, that’s the reason why my daughter is not allowed to have boyfriends –- not at 7 years old, and probably not until she is 18.
I know, I know, that sounds extreme. Believe me, I never thought I would be as prudish of a mother as I am turning out to be. But is it prudish, or just plain smart?
Call me crazy, but a 7 year old can wait a few years before she has a boyfriend or wears a bikini or the underwear they try to sell our girls these days. I also don’t think teenagers need to be so focused on a boyfriend or girlfriend that they miss out on one of the most carefree times in their lives.
Not that I thought of this on my own. I have a friend who decided when her son and daughter were young that she would raise them with the expectation of NOT dating. Instead, she encouraged them to be friends with the opposite sex, and to hang out in large groups. They were able to make it through high school, my friend said, without the usual dating angst.
My daughter is only 7. So why am I worried about this now? Because she is –- and I don’t want her to be. She is growing up quickly -- as so many kids do, and although I have quite a few years yet before I seriously have to address the dating question, I am laying the groundwork with my daughter.
Now when she asks, “How old do I have to be to date?” I tell her there is plenty of time to date in college. For now, she accepts this. But I am sure she’ll balk at it sooner or later.
-- Ericka Watson, Times mom