Boyfriend/Girlfriend in Pre-K?

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by dolphinswim, Sep 18, 2006.

  1. dolphinswim

    dolphinswim Companion

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    Sep 18, 2006

    okay, I am a bit mortified! I have noticed the girls "chasing" the boys in our class. They always want to be by a certain boy. Today the "football" player and the "Cheerleader" came back to class holding hands! I simply said, let go of his hand and have a seat on the carpet". During carpet time I look over and there they are, holding hands again and looking at each other with puppy dog eyes! I again told them to let go of each others hands ( I stress keeping hands in lap during carpet time). I look again and there they are...like two love sick puppies...I had to ask the "football" player to move to the other side of the carpet!

    Is it just me or are kids, 4 years olds, acting older in some areas of life? I thought boys didn't like little girls and girls thought boys had cooties? Did I miss this lesson in my methods classes? What is the best way to deal with this situation with out making a big deal out of it? I don't want to embarrass the two but I don't want to see this behavior with such small children! Your advice is greatly appreciated!
     
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  3. otsegogirl27

    otsegogirl27 Rookie

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    Sep 18, 2006

    in my last pre-school class, i had a boy and a girl that were the same way! i'm 24, but i don't remember having a "boyfriend" that young! even in my new pre-school class, i have a boy and girl that are the same way. can't believe how young that stuff starts! i also split the kids up during circle time. the best thing that i suggest is to keep splitting them up when needed.... when things get to be too much, put them at different tables, sides of the carpet or centers to give them a break. i've done that and it's given both kids a chance to socialize a little more with other kids in the class. other than that, i would take any advice too :p
     
  4. cmorris

    cmorris Comrade

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    Sep 18, 2006

    I did that when I was in Kindergarten...:eek:
     
  5. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Sep 18, 2006

    As you can see the times have changed drastically!


    I think you are doing the right thing, by reinforcing hands in your lap, etc, and by continually redirecting them. I don't think I would do anything more than what you are doing because I wouldn't want to give the children the idea that things are "bad" or that they should feel ashamed.

    I do think you should fill the parents in..... not make a federal case out of it, but just fill them in. I think some things are best addressed by parents.

    These little ones are just imitating what they see, and don't truly understand things, it really is eye opening to see that so many kids are growing up way too fast.
     
  6. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Sep 19, 2006

    In all honesty, it's so innocent at this age that I don't give much attention to it all. The other day my son asked me if he could marry his little friend when he got older and I thought it was rather cute and funny. I guess in this situation I would remove them from each other, but not make a big deal of it. They are kids.
     
  7. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Sep 19, 2006

    I wouldn't make a big deal out of it. If they want to hold hands at recess I don't see the problem with it. Little girls are always holding hands and playing games together. I don't see a problem with a boy and a girl doing the same thing. They are just babies.
     
  8. dolphinswim

    dolphinswim Companion

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    Sep 19, 2006

    I sure try not to make a big deal about it. Today it was much better but I did ask one of them to move to another table or another side of the carpet if they were really close together.

    I always see the girls walking holding hands and sometimes they will do that with the boys too but the way these two were looking at each other made me feel uncomfortable:eek: and I know they are just children, babies still really! I am sure they were mimicing a behavior they have seen.

    This age group is new to me and it is taking a while for me to adjust! Some things just blow me away!:D
     
  9. Bernard

    Bernard Companion

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    Sep 19, 2006

    I have been teaching many, many years, and I can tell you that this is nothing new.
    Every few years you'll get a group that is obsessed with this stuff:
    Sometimes, they argue about who will marry whom.
    Some kiddos try to sneak kisses when you aren't looking.
    You'll occassionally have a case of show-and-tell in the playground playhouse, or some other "private" setting.
    And, you can look forward to an anatomically correct drawing every now and then.
    It is really very typical at this age - kids are curious about these subjects as much as anything else, sometimes because they sense that it is "grown up" or taboo, or other times out of actual innocence.
    How to handle it depends on what is happening.
    The marraige debates are a variation on the "best friend/not your friend" theme. ("You don't have to worry about it 'til you're thirty", I've told more than one four-year-old girl who is sobbing that little Michael said he would marry her this morning, but this afternoon plans to marry another girl!)
    Kissing? Well, that's just "not something we do at school".
    Show and tell results in a converstaion about private parts - and extra efforts to get rid of "blind spots" anywhere in the room or playground!
    Drawings are most often innocent - "Well, that's a very nice picture of your Mommy, dear... um... do you think you might like to draw her a pretty sweater, or a dress, maybe?"

    When these issues arise, just handle them quietly and calmly, in the same manner that you would handle other minor disruptions or inappropriate behavior.

    I'm not advocating these behaviors, but I can tell you that they have popped up from time to time for many, many years, and will likely do so for many years to come. :)

    The only time it is a major concern is when children are acting out scenarios (through dramatic play or with dolls/toys) that they should not have encountered at home or on family programming. Then, you may be seeing warning signs of abuse.
     
  10. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Sep 19, 2006

    Great post! You worded it perfectly. I love the marriage issue. It continues on into kindergarten to. I like what you tell the kids.
     
  11. dolphinswim

    dolphinswim Companion

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    Sep 19, 2006

    That is a wonderful post Bernard! And I will remember some of your tips for handling the situations that arise!

    Thank you for the great posts and ideas!
     
  12. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Sep 19, 2006

    (embarrassed) I had a crush and a little "boyfriend" when I was 5.
     
  13. CyFair

    CyFair Rookie

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    Sep 19, 2006

    I have to chime in to agree with Bernard. I think most of this behavior is very innocent, and requires just a bit of gentle redirection.

    My son David is in kindergarten, and he has always loved girls. Maybe in a year or two he'll take a more anti-girl stance, but right now he thinks they're very interesting and beautiful. Last year his pre-k teacher told me that one of the little girls in the class came up to her and said, "My mommy says it's okay if I marry David." Then the two were apparently engaged throughout the remainder of the school year. Eventually they went to separate kindergartens, and now David is planning to marry a different little girl. But he has the maturity to know that they must wait until they are "really old, like 20 or something."

    Some kids are just interested in that sort of thing. I sure hope my son loses interest in girls by the time he's a teenager.
     
  14. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    I lost the interest pretty quick... I think by the end of first grade. My behavior was definitely very innocent.
     
  15. Alitig1

    Alitig1 Rookie

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    Sep 19, 2006

    I have a "couple" too in my ESE pre K class and our rules are NO KISSING IN SCHOOL and we keep our hands to ouselves. I am so tired of saying that and since I only have 5 kids in my class it is not so easy to seperate these kids. :)
     
  16. MsAnn

    MsAnn Companion

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    Sep 19, 2006

    I'm 32 and when I was 4 I was "engaged" to the boy next door, who gave me a Burger King ring as an engagement ring. Kids do it, they copy their parents or big brothers and sisters. What we do in private they will do in public, what we rarely do they will do in excess.

    Just use redirection and IF it is disruptive to the class, treat it like any other misbehavior because you have already told them to keep their hands in their lap.
     
  17. Mr. Mike

    Mr. Mike Rookie

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    Sep 19, 2006

    well you have to remember what parents let there kids watch now. but i use the purple rule. boys are blue girls are red lets not make purple. i wouldnt be mortified.
     
  18. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    Sep 22, 2006

    Thank you Bernard and MsAnne these are some very helpful answers that I am sure I will need to recall sooner or later- great advice thanks! I have cousins in my class that are very touchy- I know it is no biggie, but it is uncomfortable to me and distracting for the others
     
  19. TanyaLynn

    TanyaLynn Rookie

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    Sep 22, 2006

    At our center, in my director's class, there is actually a tiny love triangle. The director's son and the infant teacher's son fight over a cute little girl. It's actually kinda cute, and they are only three!

    We also had a very serious couple in our older kids this summer, they were 10 and 11. Continously talked about breaking hearts, etc. It was pretty funny when they would have one of their little spats. Our director said to keep a close eye on them, because they can sometimes be touchy-feely. :eek:
     
  20. gracieh

    gracieh Rookie

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    Sep 24, 2006

    we seem to always have some of that each year... i just move their spots so they won't be beside each other and gently tell them not to hold friends hands ...
     
  21. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    Sep 24, 2006

    Jeannie and a boy at her gym class really liked each other- like buddies. His dad was forever pushing Jeannie as his girlfriend. 'Where's your girlfriend?' 'Give your girlfriend a hug!'

    Jeanne and this kid would just look at him like he was a doofus. They had no idea what he meant.
     

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