Girlfriend and boyfriend talk, aged 5?!

(36 Posts)
AngryBeaver Wed 18-Dec-13 01:40:06

A lady whose child is in the same class as my ds has been asking for a play with her dd for a while.

I'm pregnant with dc 4, we've just moved house, and life is busy.

Plus, I prefer to wait until my dc ASK for friends to play.

Anyway, he asked for the girl (5) and I said fine.

They played nice
Y and then mum came.

She seemed very nice and was chatting away and then said this "ohh, I think they're so lovely together!"
Me:"yes, they've played really nicely" smile

Her"I asked dd if there was anyone she liked that she wanted to be her boyfriend and she said, yes, but I don't know how to tell him!"

Me: ummmm, confused errrr, oh"

Her: dd said she really likes your and said he'd tried to kiss her"

Me: WHAAAAT? Oh well, I'm so sorry! I'll be having words when you go. I think it must be because we're a very kissy family? I'll have to explain that it is only for family!"

Her: oh no!! Don't you say ANYTHING to him! I think it's lovely! C'mon don't be so uptight! Didnt you ever like anyone??"

Me: not when I was FIVE no!"

Her: oh I did, Johnny x loved me when I was 5 but not 6! Etc etc"

Now, all this left a bad taste in my mouth. I think it's really gross that people say boyfriend & girlfriend in relation to children.
Why not just friends??
In my eyes, it's sexualising it.

It's planting seeds that little children do not need to think about.

Anyway, we were supposed to be going to theirs tomorrow (she was quite insistent) and now I don't want to go.

Iabu about all of this?

AngryBeaver Wed 18-Dec-13 01:40:21

Sorry, epic!

weddingballsup Wed 18-Dec-13 01:48:05

I think the girlfriend/boyfriend talk between kids is normal if it comes up - can remember my dd at the same age being absolutely incensed that X in her class hadn't agreed to marry her when they were older, really in a mood about it! Then the novelty wore off and now boys are 'yuck'. But I'd be very put off by the mother being the one feeding it, by asking her dd and almost pushing the issue - depending on my gut feeling about the mother I wouldn't be happy with that. Think adults should only be using 'boyfriend/girlfriend' in relation to such young kids in a jokey/sarcastic way, not a serious 'wouldn't it be nice if they kiss' type way. I'd go with your gut feeling about the mother and maintain a distance if you feel she's going to be feeding this sexualisation stuff.

Tiptops Wed 18-Dec-13 01:57:47

YANBU. Boyfriend/ girlfriend talk at that age always makes me cringe. Just let children be friends without sexual connotations FFS.

softlysoftly Wed 18-Dec-13 02:22:01

Yanbu I hate that kind of talk though it is "normal".

Have to say she's taking it a step beyond, actively pushing her DD to find another child attractive and to talk of kissing is very very very odd and I would be backing sharply away.

Her poor DD.

AngryBeaver Wed 18-Dec-13 02:35:46

She seems very nice. She's a real estate agent and quite...respectable/articulate/decent etc

I think the marrying talk is quite normal. My eldest two have already decided they will marry each other, then mummy and granny etc grin

Our wedding photos are about, and they've asked "who gave you that ring mummy" so obviously conversations stem from that.

But as has been said, it's the mother feeding her this boyfriend/girlfriend crap.

I just think it's really off and totally unnecessary.
Why don't people just let little children be little children?!

They're so innocent...and perfect. Why put this nonsense onto them?

But her reaction when I objected was one of horror, like WHAT could possibly be more sweet? And inferred that anyone who thought otherwise was uptight.

AngryBeaver Wed 18-Dec-13 02:40:01

it's awkward as we live on an island.
It's a very small place and the school is small.

We're just breaking up for summer hols and found out today which classes kids will be in next year.

I was hoping they would be in different classes but no such luck.

She seemed perfectly normal until this?

You know how you like someone until they say something you just can't get past?!

AngryBeaver Wed 18-Dec-13 02:41:41

Her dd is a very sweet little girl by the way. Played nicely with ds and had good manners.

But my ds said to me for the first time about 2 mins ago "x is my girlfriend" and then my 3 year old said it sad

FixItUpChappie Wed 18-Dec-13 02:50:38

YANBU...one of my personal pet peeves is parents who encourage the whole "ooooh is that your boyfriend/girlfriend" stuff. Yuck - just let them be kids and get to it in their own natural time.

Theironfistofarkus Wed 18-Dec-13 02:59:29

I would say YABU. My DS aged 6 has a "girlfriend" in his class. It IS sweet - both me and the little girls' mum think it is cute. It's wholly innocent and normal - not sexual - more of a Disney type romance from her POV. My DS is happy that a girl likes him and that makes me happy.

AngryBeaver Wed 18-Dec-13 03:02:07

Why do 6 year olds need a Disney romance though?!
Or a romance of any nature?
Why can't they just be a friend?
Why does it have to be labelled using adult terminology?

BohemianGirl Wed 18-Dec-13 03:40:57

I'm a thousand years old, at least a generation older than you, and I still remember Peter, lovely blond blue eyed Peter. He was my best friend until you have that natural gender divide as you go into juniors. All that sticky hand holding walking home from school.

All of my DC have had primary romances. It's just one of those things. You don't pay any attention to it. Some people think it's cute and sweet, others over think it.

raisah Wed 18-Dec-13 03:48:29

No me & my friends didn't do it when we were that age, its just too young. What happened to preserving the innocence of children for as long as possible? Once you are an adult its irreversible so kids should be kids for as long as they can.

This mum is encouraging adult behaviour in her dd, talking about kissing & boyfriends sounds almost like a paedophile grooming a child but in a different way iyswim. Stay away from the woman I would. She hasn't put much thought into her daughters behaviour at 14 if she is encouraging boyfriends at 6.

VashtaNerada Wed 18-Dec-13 03:55:36

DD (5) talks about boyfriends and mentions kisses and hugs. There's nothing sinister as she's still very innocent, thank god, but it does make me a little uneasy nevertheless. I'm not sure where it's coming from.

icclemunchy Wed 18-Dec-13 04:04:24

my 2.11 DD has a boyfriend at the childminders, they have cuddles and always kiss goodbye, she's always referring to him as her boyfriend. However on the same note she also has a girlfriend there who she treats/talks about in the same way.

if its coming from your DS its one thing but it seems rather odd for the other mum to be pushing it so much

Rosa Wed 18-Dec-13 04:21:19

Well dd2 is going to marry Daddy when she grows up hmm.
i would possibly mention it whilst chatting that you are not comfortable with the boyfriend / grilfriend term keep it light and maybe it might sink in...

vvviola Wed 18-Dec-13 06:14:11

I think the mum pushing it is a bit odd. But I know quite a few people who talk that way and consider it just joking around, not realising that it sounds weird, and not actually pushing the whole thing. Any chance that could be the case here?

The boyfriend/girlfriend thing itself I think is normal enough. I certainly remember my "first boyfriend" when I was about 4. He was called Andreas and was the son of a sheep farmer totally outs myself to my Mum if she reads MN seeing as she's probably the only one who remembers this

It was all sweet and innocent (it didn't feel quite so sweet or innocent when I got a letter from him about 15 years later saying he'd been watching me on the train, did I remember him and he thought he was in love with me shock)

AngryBeaver Wed 18-Dec-13 07:18:29

Eyw! That's so weird vvv!

Nope I think she thinks it's odd of me not to think its normal!

I had a friend that I was going to marry, when I was four.

But he married someone else...a bloke called Dave smile

AngryBeaver Wed 18-Dec-13 07:20:02

Just to clarify. He didn't marry a bloke called Dave when he was four! grin

ChristmasJumperWearer Wed 18-Dec-13 07:25:16

The mum pushing/encouraging it IS odd.

But my 5yo's class is all "coupled up", they all seem to have decided by themselves who they will be marrying when they grow up. It's quite funny listening to tales of "x wouldn't let y play with him at play time, so they're not getting married any more, y is now marrying z".

It's useful to have lots of advance notice so that we can start saving up for the "wedding" over my dead body. grin

OhMerGerd Wed 18-Dec-13 07:29:59

My dd2 and her friend Harry peddled off down the drive at nursery in a little tikes side by side car..he was caught trying to pick the lock to the gate. And where were these two almost three year olds going? To the church down the road to get married. They had planned it for bell ringing practice day because they thought the bells meant its wedding time. We did think that was sweet.
They went to school together till they were 11 and exchanged birthday /Christmas gifts every year. He once chose her a matching Snow White vest and pants aged about 6 - his mum 'apologised' and we did have a little chuckle (between us and not in front of the DC ) because he had apparently insisted as he'd been shopping with daddy for mummy's present the day before so she now knew what she was getting! ). Harry was just being kind and really any thing sexual at that age is in the adult mind. We were careful not to project to them.
In all the years from toddler till about 14/15 they were regularly playing together and in all that time they never kissed or anything remotely sexualised. They counted each other in the 'best friends' group.
Actually they only stopped hanging out aged 15 when his current girlfriend didn't think it was appropriate. They still speak and text though.
I think it's lovely they've maintained an opposite sex friendship. I hope they keep in contact for life.

Anyhow OP agree the mum is a bit OTT. I don't think she's a raging paedophile though. This might sound bizarre but if you and your son are popular in your small community she may be trying to forge a friendship for herself and her DD by making it seem that they are particular friends.

If they get on well and enjoy playing together you could just tell the mum that you're not keen on the boyfriend girlfriend thing but you like them playing together so next time suggest you make it a dress up play and they can be whatever characters they choose. Princess and footballer, cat and wizard ... That way boyfriend girlfriend is just another one of their make believes and nothing more.

Of course never leave your child in the care of someone you don't feel comfortable with, but that doesn't mean the children shouldn't be friends. They need to learn how to manage different relationships and their emotions, that's one of the reasons for attending nursery/ school/ clubs.

Btw in all these years Harrys mum and I have never so much as had a cup of tea together. It's their friendship not ours.

cory Wed 18-Dec-13 08:33:13

Imo girlfriend/boyfriend talk is sweet and innocent when initiated by the children: like dressing up in mummy's high-heeled shoes or playing with her lipstick.

Initiated by the mum it does feel a bit too adult. Like insisting your child has to be made up to go to a party.

Ds was going to marry my friend's dd and be a firefighter in Paris and Cardiff when he was 4. But it was entirely his idea.

2Tinsellytocare Wed 18-Dec-13 09:59:48

The other mum is pushing it and being very silly but I think describing her as having paedophile type behaviour is beyond hysterical

TheHOHOHOnlyPink Wed 18-Dec-13 10:13:41

I agree with cory, its sweet and innocent when the children initiate it. My ds is 6 and last year in school all the boys coupled off with girls, he told me that his wife was the most beautiful girl in the class. They all played husbands and wives for a month or so and then forgot about it. But he still has a soft spot for this girl. Her mum told me that she was worried about her new glasses and would the others laugh at her etc, but my ds said to her "you look beautiful in your new glasses" her mum was thrilled because he put her fears to rest,and gave her a confidence boost, but neither of us encouraged it or anything.

I think i would be very uncomfortable if it were the mother pushing it, as its less about children pretending.

So yanbu to think the mother is weird and inappropriate, but yabu to not want your ds to pretend, kids like to replicate what they see in real life, and to them pretending to have a girlfriend is no different to pretending to be a mummy or pretending to cook dinner etc.

How weird angry - my first love married a bloke called dave too! fgrin

I think a lot of it is just children imitating adults and a normal part of how they learn (my ds1 is three and has two "girlfriends". Think I need to keep an eye on dh..!), the way the mum is encouraging it does sound a bit odd though.

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