Monday, September 10, 2012

How Do You Explain That Your Kids Are Too Young To Have Boyfriends Or Girlfriends

My daughter sits beside this nice-looking kid at kindergarten and they are often paired during school programs because their height matches. One day, my daughter blatantly announced “Mama, Emman is my boyfriend.”  Whatever I was doing at that time, I surely stopped and asked her how and where she got the idea about her seatmate being her boyfriend.

She replied “Well, Julian (another male classmate) said that we are boyfriend and girlfriend”. Even more curious about it, I prodded further “How do you define a boyfriend?”. Relieved, she replied “You know, a friend because Emman is a boy. Julian is also my boyfriend since he is a boy and Angelika is my girlfriend because she is a girl…” and so the litany of who her boyfriends and girlfriends at school continued for another five minutes.

Thank goodness that my daughter somehow got the wrong definition of what a boyfriend is and I don’t think she is yet to be interested with romantic relationships. Nevertheless, I had a heart to heart talk with my daughter about it. I think these things should not be left unanswered and explaining to her was very hard, if not amusing.

To begin with, my daughter did not grow up in a conventional family so she has no way of understanding about relationships yet so I have to use an analogy. If you have teenage kids who are curious about relationships, then now is the best time to talk about it. The more conversation you have with your children about relationships with the opposite sex, your children will be prevented from seeking answers on their own.

The problem with most parents is that they are too conservative when it comes to talking about relationships. Don’t get into your children’s faces and preach them immediately. Take time to listen to their questions about relationships. After all, they might just need to clarify things whether their emotions are normal. Remember that soapboxing them will discourage them to talk less. Moreover, this can also lead to your kids being rebellious.  As  parents, guarantee to them that what they are feeling are natural.

Talking about relationships with your children should be done in a democratic manner so that your children will trust you with matters about the heart no matter how serious they are. And as for me, I may need to deal with this situation again in the next few years when my daughter reaches puberty. I hope that I will have a ready answer by the time she grows up. Good luck to me!

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