Just last week my lovely sister took her niece and nephew (aka my kids) out to lunch at a local garden centre. As kids do they managed to get her to agree to buying them something. The interesting thing was that neither picked something for themselves. My daughter picked a cupcake shaped bath bomb as a gift for her best friend.
And James? The store stocks all sorts of boys toys from footballs to water pistols, so what did he pick? I’ll show you.
Ah how sweet I hear you say (well I don’t really but I’m imagining you are). A gift for his wonderful mum perhaps? Or a thank you to his Aunty?
No this was what my 8 year old chose for his current girlfriend! He wrote a message on the back of the box and headed off with it safely tucked away in his school bag to be delivered to the girl in question the next day.
It made me laugh at first but then I wondered, if as adults we should be encouraging children to act out relationships at such a young age?
When he came home on Valentines day with his card from the girl in question, should I have advised him that there was plenty time for girls and to concentrate instead on school or at least football?
I strongly believe that children should not be made to grow up too soon. My daughter won’t wear a bikini or crop top till she is much older and neither child will have facebook or other social media accounts until they are both of legal age and more importantly when I think they are ready, so what about this?
Well to be honest I’m not too worried, this is James’s third “girlfriend” in 4 years (I know quite the ladies man) and I am not sure he has ever said much more to any of them face to face other than “can you pass the pritt-stick.”
It does however encourage discussion at homes around relationships. Not long ago he asked me if it was right that men should always do what women tell them. I bit back my gut response of “yes, of course” to explain that no a relationship is all about give and take and helping each other out (oh such wisdom, it’s taken 37 years to learn that one).
It may be just a bit of fun but hopefully he is also learning. Girlfriend number one didn’t last long after she started demanding he transport her everywhere by piggy back, he may need that lesson in later life when it’s a Porsche they’re after!
With girlfriend number two he learnt a lesson in being left for a more sporty boy in the class. He shrugged it off and went back to playing football with the new boy in her life, because as he said friends are more important than girls. Unfortunately I fear it will not always be that simple.
And with girlfriend number 3? Well she meets his (and my) approval because she is interested in space and the universe (better than shoes and handbags). I think they may have a way to go before I have to worry about it getting serious though. At a recent out of school activity when I mentioned in front of his friends that said lady was in the building his embarrassed response was, “tell her I’m sick and I’m not here”, well that’s men for you!
So as long as these things are taken light heartedly I think it’s fine. I still think kids should be kids but then hasn’t being a kid always meant playing house or pretend weddings etc. Of course I wont be saying that should any boy ever go near my nearly 11 year old daughter 😀