Photo credit: flickriver
Stay away from those fast a** boys
That’s pretty much the extent of the “boy talk I received when I was my daughter Jay’s age. Of course, in health class we were given the scientific talk, but they neglected to tell us what we really needed to hear. This post is actually something that I’ve been meaning to write, but I kept putting it off. Recently the subject has gotten a lot more personal for me and I want to take this opportunity to address it and offer some guidance to you as well.
It’s my turn
Even though I’m fully aware of what sixth grade was like for me back in 2002. I was kind of caught off guard to learn that my sweet angel baby Jay was interested in boys. We had previously discussed a boy from school after reading her text messages. (yes, I read her text messages and she is fully aware) She told me that they were just friends and it was annoying that everyone at school thought she liked him, liked him. I didn’t bring it up again, but a couple weeks later Jay told me she had changed her mind and that this particular boy has also asked her out. Now before you start dragging me, no I do not think 11 years old is old enough to have a boyfriend and yes, I am all up in her business 24/7.
Here’s what I know
Kid’s Jays age today are a lot like us when we were that age. “dating” means publicly acknowledging that they like someone at school. They will never actually go out because… they’re broke and do not have the transportation to do so. I didn’t shut down this going out business because I know full well that it will happen regardless at school and I would never have a clue, also I think that this is an age appropriate way for kids to express their feelings.
I’m all for kids learning to interact with the opposite sex early on in healthy ways, with out oversexualizing them or making them feel ashamed of expressing normal human behavior. However, I did want to take this opportunity to address some things.
What I wish I knew
While I didn’t want to tell Jay what to do in this situation, I did want to give her some information so that she is able to make an informed decision on her own.
Some of the things I said:
“At your age boys are dumb…. And so are girls”
“everyone is concerned with fitting in and impressing their friends”
“sometimes boys like you for shallow reasons”
“their minds change quickly”
“girls who you though were your friends will switch up on you over these little crusty boys”
“It’s not okay to change who you are, over a boy”
“Its okay to distance yourself from someone if they make you uncomfortable”
“don’t make yourself too available, focus on what should be a priority first “
“This will not be the last person you like during your life time”
“Remember you can talk to me about anything”
Of course, after this long heart felt conversation Jay chose to “date” this young man anyway, and in true 6th grade boy fashion he hurt her feelings in about three business days. This led to another discussion about setting a standard for how you will allow people to treat you. We discussed how it is ok to choose to remove someone from your space after they hurt your feelings. I referenced Drake’s Nice for What and we laughed about it over ice cream.
Seven years to go