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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 20:33:58

Ohmergerd...I think you may have something there actually.
The mother is constantly texting me, asking me round and I have replied a few times.
This morning I get one which starts with "hi hon!" confused
I pick my friends here very very carefully, because as you say, it's such a small community.
I made the decision when we moved here that I would be very picky to avoid any awkward defriend ing situations!

She seems to be trying to force a friendship with me.
Has asked to be my running partner (I trail run) and was quite glad that I could say I was pregnant and won't be running for a while.

But she is quite persistent, hangs around after bell goes and wants to walk back to car with me, get coffee or whatever.

She's a nice woman, but not really my type. So I'm finding this a bit suffocating, tbh.

Anyway, I have agreed to meet her in a park today, so I'll see what happens.

noddyholder Wed 18-Dec-13 12:05:16

I hate this too Hear it a lot

struggling100 Wed 18-Dec-13 12:02:09

I was interested in boys from the age of about 5. I guess I started early!! smile

I am not big on 'girlfriend' and 'boyfriend' talk from parents, but mainly because it makes me cringe with the over-cutesyness. I don't think there's anything worrying in it, and I don't think it's sexualising - kids cuddle and kiss each other as an affectionate thing, not anything more.

JugglingUnwiselyWithBaubles Wed 18-Dec-13 12:02:00

I think you should try to be friendly in spite of seeing this differently.
I get how you feel but, especially as you live in a close community, I'd try to keep it in perspective.
A bit like if someone had different political views but you could still be friends/ your DC could be friends.
Just keep talking about friendships and ignore the GF/BF aspect in any conversation with her. HTH
My friend and I did find it quite amusing when DS was small and he couldn't decide between two girls which one he might marry. He's still friends with one of them, the other seems to have dropped by the wayside (now he's at secondary school and they go to different schools)
Hope we pointed out that it depended what they thought too!

JoinYourPlayfellows Wed 18-Dec-13 11:52:23

"I don't like it - it's cringey, sexualises or labels innocent friendships between small children and normally comes from the adults rather than themselves."

I know, it's just grim. Ick, I HATE when adults go on this way with children.

vladthedisorganised Wed 18-Dec-13 11:49:22

X-posted CMP - in my primary school our class were banned from playing Red Rover, not because of the risk of injury, but because "it was disgusting to see girls holding hands". We were 9 sad

vladthedisorganised Wed 18-Dec-13 11:47:13

The mother pushing it is fairly icky, I would agree. There are some people who get hung up on the boyfriend/girlfriend thing when their children are babies - which really gets on my wick. DD has developed a wonderfully withering look when some mother insists she's the 'little girlfriend' of an unknown small boy who happens to be on the roundabout at the same time.

That said, a 5 year old's concept of marriage is quite entertaining. If asked DD would say that 'you have a wedding where you get to wear a nice dress and then people take photos for a long time before everyone has their tea, then you live in the same house after that'.

CMP69 Wed 18-Dec-13 10:45:02

My 5 yo ds has a girlfriend they hold hands on the path after school its cute. Their teacher said they were too young and were not to hold hands in school shock

LieborCookin Wed 18-Dec-13 10:40:03

I know how you feel op, but it is natural development....

DirtyDancingCleanLiving Wed 18-Dec-13 10:23:11

YY Tinselly. Ridiculous.

I find it funny how children go through the stages.

My ds2 is 3. He has a 'girlfriend' in school who he likes to cuddle with. He says she's the prettiest girl in the school and he loves her. NONE of this is encouraged/pushed by us. It's normal terminology that he's heard and is using. He knows that when a boy and a girl are very good friends and like each other they are called 'bf/gf'. It's completely innocent.

Ds1 on the other hand is 5 and has just come out of that stage. Girls are disgusting and he wants nothing to do with them!

SirChenjin Wed 18-Dec-13 10:19:32

I don't like it - it's cringey, sexualises or labels innocent friendships between small children and normally comes from the adults rather than themselves.

That being said, DS1(16) has netted himself his first girlfriend, and DS2(6) is now talking about his girlfriend in an attempt to be just like his big brother. I'm not making a big deal about it, but equally I'm not going to encourage it iykwim?

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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)

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...

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

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.

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.

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.

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