Boyfriends & Girlfriends

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by JustMe, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jan 21, 2011

    I understand children mature differently, but at what age do you think children should be allowed to have their boyfriends and girlfriends over to visit? Meaning, for example, if your seventh grade daughter has a boyfriend at school, would you allow her to invite him over to hang out? Living room only? In her bedroom? What about actually going out? Take that same daughter. Would you drive the two to the movies...you sitting a few rows back? You watching another movie? You running some errands during the movie?

    I ask because it seems children are having actual relationships far too early. What used to be the years of "If you're my boyfriend that means I sit by you at lunch...if I'm not too embarrassed" are now the years of more legitimate dating. I don't have children, but I don't approve. :unsure:
     
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  3. scienceteach82

    scienceteach82 Cohort

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    Jan 21, 2011

    I wasn't allowed to go out with a boy until I was 17 lol

    I'll have to think about that for my twins. I had friends over that were boys when I was younger...and my mom made sure to keep an eye on us. Wasn't allowed to talk to them on the phone either without my parents meeting them first.
     
  4. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Jan 21, 2011

    I really don't remember all the exact ages of when my girls did those things with their boyfriends, but my 16 year old is NOT allowed to have her boyfriend in her room with just the two of them. My girls couldn't go on car dates (I know that really dates me) alone until they were 16. I know I did drop off my girls and their boyfriends at the movies when they were in the 9th grade and I didn't go in with them.

    I don't really remember that much about jr high and boyfriends other than taking them to the mall to walk around and boyfriends coming over in the family room to watch TV.
     
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jan 21, 2011

    I think it depends on the child.

    I live in the world of middle school, so I'm witness to all the young love and relationships . . . even when I'd rather now know.

    Some of the girls "bloom" earlier than others, and some are quite worldly. I've had middle school girls who were permitted to date high school boys. Date as in the boy is old enough to drive kind of dating. One girl told me that she was 14, and her boyfriend was 17. Yes, but she had JUST turned 14 and was in 8th grade. He was a senior getting ready to turn 18. We've had pregnant 8th graders more than once, and the fathers have always been older.

    Some of the girls are really less mature, and their "dating" is still innocent and with boys their own age. They would do fine being dropped off at the movies, going out with older siblings, or watching a movie at home.

    I really didn't date. We mostly went out in large groups, and sometimes there were people who paired up into couples. In middle school I did have a "boyfriend" I talked to on the phone all the time, and he even came to my house some. We'd hang around in the den watching TV or my bedroom listening to music. Of course, he is gay, so that might have been part of the reason my parents didn't care for him being in my bedroom. That was when admitting being gay would have gotten him really shunned, so I was good "cover" for him.

    It's really a situation by situation kind of thing.
     
  6. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Jan 21, 2011

    I wasn't allowed to date until I was in high school, and then only to have dates for formal dances or events like that. Junior and senior year of high school I started having boyfriends.
     
  7. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jan 21, 2011

    We weren't allowed to date. Period. That didn't stop my sister from getting pregnant at 16 though. I think being too strict is just as bad as not strict enough. I have no problems with middle schoolers going out as groups, and High Schoolers going out as couples, with some distant supervision. I wouldn't allow a girl into by boys' bedrooms at any age, but the living areas would be fine. I think more than age, the maturity of the kids and the amount of supervision are the key factors.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jan 21, 2011

    I think "date" is a hot button word.

    Brian has no interest, as far as I can see, in dating anyone yet. (He'll be 13 in June.)

    But if he were to have some female friends, or even one female friend over here during the summer to hang out in the pool, I would be fine with it. Him calling it a "date" wouldn't change the fact that it would be under our supervision. Likewise, if he invited a girl over tonight to play Wii, and called it a "date" it wouldn't concern me.

    But lots and lots of kids "hang out" without supervison and get into trouble.

    Oh, and the bedroom thing is not happening. Period.
     
  9. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    Jan 21, 2011

    I was allowed to date at 16, which I now think is too young (alone dates, not group) but I also think 16 is too young to drive. I'm getting quite conservative in my old age.
     
  10. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jan 21, 2011

    In middle school, it would be groups only. I think if it was the movies, I'd go watch a movie while they were watching another movie (unless it was one I wanted to see as well and then I'd be far away from them).

    In HS, it would be me dropping her off at the place where the date would be, and I would be picking her up as well.

    In either MS or HS, if she wanted a guy to come over and hang out that would be fine, but they would remain in the main living area.
     
  11. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    What Alice said...that's what I was trying to say, but she said it so much better than I did.
     
  12. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Jan 21, 2011

    Sometimes I think the parents make a big deal out of it - like if your daughter has a friend that's a boy in elementary school its a "boyfriend." I think if you just let them develop friendships you have less to worry about. They realize they can hang out without being paired up.

    You do have to be careful though - my brother and our family friends daughter were the same age, and my sister and their son were the same age. My brother would go over to spend the night with the son, but would really spend most of his time with the daughter. In fact, I know they slept together when they were 16. I guess our parents were clueless.

    As far as being in the bedroom, BF and I are 30 and 34, and we don't sleep together at my parents' house. lol.
     
  13. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jan 21, 2011

    As I said, I also believe maturity is a consideration. Not all sixteen year olds are created equally. :)

    I ask mainly because I think my mother has allowed my little sister to make too much of her relationship. She's in eighth now, but even last year as a seventh grader he came over frequently. They spend time out back toward the woods (keep in mind Mother can't simply look out the back door to check on things...) and in her bedroom. When I was over visiting last Valentine's Day he was over, of course, in her bedroom with the door shut. When I realized this I told Mom. She told her to open it. My sister did...by keeping it ever so slightly cracked. I see pictures of the two together on her bed, all touchy-feely in his pool. I just think children should have something to work up to...if that makes sense.

    I believe my sister is handling things appropriately, but I still worry a bit. I had a stepsister who was pregnant at fifteen...I would hate to have that experience repeated.

    And then I have my fifteen year old sister. She posted on Facebook a while back wanting to burn her mattress. That was a red flag. I said something to her about it. She dismissed me. Soon she blocked me from her Facebook (she has since unblocked me). My dad is very hands-off. I know I certainly interpreted his parenting style to mean he didn't care. Sometimes I feel she would do things to see if he was paying attention.

    Oh, being a big sister. :p
     
  14. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Jan 21, 2011

    My 17 year old is allow to date. He can go to her house, she can come to my house. Their dates have to be supervised until I am comfortable with her. His last girlfriend lasted 8 months. She was nice, but the rules applied. They were either at our home, my mom's, or her father's. His friends think I am super strict...but I don't care.


    Today I had a student share that her 16 year old sophomore brother was going to be a father. She told the other kids that "he had sex and now he is going to have a son." I texted my son and asked him about it and he told me the boy was bragging about getting a girl pregnant in the locker room. My son told me "that's why I think he is a skank!" I am so glad my son sees that his bragging is wrong. I am sad that a 6 year old is aware of what is happening in her home.
     
  15. Ms. I

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    Jan 22, 2011

    I'm sure I have one of THE MOST strictest, overprotective parents out there. My parents had me at an older age, so they're a good 10-15 yrs older than the parents of people my age.

    Even as a kid, I couldn't sleep over at a girl friend's house. Luckily for my parents, that wasn't a big deal to me anyway & I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything.

    My parents actually allowed me to have a boy visit the house, in the living room when I was in 9th grade when I was 14, but that's it. But, even that didn't happen that much. No actual going out anywhere whether they drove or not. My FIRST date was my senior prom, (which we had a limo).

    I couldn't date until I was 18 & graduated from HS & that's when I started dating.

    I still live w/ my parents & they STILL don't want the guy in my bedroom, much less with the door closed! They'd probably never let him spend the night either, but maybe if it was an emergency situation.

    The thing is, I never gave my parents ANY trouble whatsoever in my entire life, so I guess they wanted to make sure it stayed that way. I think they could have been more lenient though.
     
  16. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jan 22, 2011

    I lived out in the country growing up. There were NO guys around, and my closet friend lived about a mile away. Well, when I was in jr high, a boy my age moved in behind us, right across the creek. We became good friends, and would go down by the creek and talk. It never occurred to us to try anything with one another!
     
  17. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jan 22, 2011

    Not that you were necessarily considering my sister's situation, but were you boyfriend and girlfriend? I'm not talking about a boy and girl who are friends here...I believe it's normal and healthy for boys and girls to be friends. My sister has been in this relationship for well over a year now. She's in middle school, he's in high school, they've been together for a lifetime in teenage years, they are always together...I just feel like she's too young to be in her bedroom together or in the woods together unsupervised, especially considering how relationships progress.

    I'm probably coming across as a super crazy sister! :p I guess her experiences are so different than mine were, it just seems too much.
     
  18. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jan 22, 2011

    No, we were just friends, though I think we both wanted more at different times.

    And no, you are not coming across as a crazy sister. I think I would be the same way. I don't know if you told their ages, but there is no way I would allow my 8th grader to be dating a high school boy, I don't care if he's in 9th grade. That's just me though.
     
  19. TiffanyL

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    Jan 22, 2011

    It would never fly in our home. Our girls can begin dating when they are 16, if they are mature enough, making good choices, have good grades, good friends, the boy is respectful, etc. Even then, though, no boys in their room!!

    Of our 3 daughters, one was BOY CRAZY. We had strict rules with her....had to or she would have ended up making some major life mistakes. In fact, for two years of teenage-hood, she was only allowed to go to school and back and have friends over here. Otherwise, she would have gone to friends' homes only to sneak around and do things we weren't allowing her to do. This was between 14-16 years of age.

    Of course, she eventually matured and got back to her old self. She is now getting married in February at the age of 22 to a great young man. They both live at home with their parents and have vowed to not have premarital sex until they are married. I'm not THAT old fashioned (wouldn't have freaked out if they had moved in together, etc.) but I am proud of them for holding to high standards in this day in age.
     
  20. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Jan 22, 2011

    There's a lot of variables in this kind of a decision -- besides how mature you think your own child is and your own values and concerns for their future, there's the matter of how much you trust other parents to have raised their children with similar values.

    I live in a fairly small, affluent town in northern New Jersey, and have three sons (duh) and no daughters. I know how most others around here raise their kids, and though I don't always agree with them on a lot of topics I know they'll pretty strongly stress caution in relationships. There's a fair number of stay-at-home mothers. I know that if my sons get older and go to some girls' house, there will be limits.

    I also have friends who live in New York city, and I see how their kids are growing up. They're exposed to things a lot earlier. Some may handle it fine, but it seems there's a lot more risk there, and were my kids growing up there I would put a lot of limits in place that I don't think I need here.
     
  21. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Jan 22, 2011

    My son is almost 14, and he's had "girlfriends" in the sense that they see each other at school and talk on the phone. The first one, he would buy her very cute Valentine or Christmas presents. Although she only lived a short bike ride away, they made no attempts to see each other outside of school. I suppose that if he wanted to take a girl to the movies, I would drop them off and stay in the theater area (shops and restaurants) without making him feel like I was hovering.

    On a side note, the first time someone got to 2nd base with me :eek:, I was at my BFFs house for a sleepover. Her brother was two years older and pretty cute.

    My first real boyfriend came my house fairly often because his mom was best friends with my neighbor so he was there every weekend. We were never left alone for long, and NEVER in a bedroom.
     
  22. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Jan 22, 2011

    I wasn't allowed to date until I was 16. I had a boy ask me out a few weeks before my 16th birthday, but my father refused to let me go until I was in fact 16 (never mind that he was younger and HIS dad was driving us around.)
     
  23. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Jan 23, 2011

    My kids are 23, 19, 17, 14, and 12. The oldest is married and my middle two (19 year old son and 17 year old daughter) have both had boyfriends an girlfriends. My second oldest had a girlfriend for 3 years. We had a lot of experience with this. His girlfriend he had known since he was four and our families are still close. We allowed them to stay over our house's as long as they slept in different bedrooms and they were allowed to be in the bedrooms as long as the door was partially open. My son and his girlfriend both graduated in the top 10 of their class and are doing great. I had no problem with my system.
     
  24. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think that, realistically, it kids are going to do something illicit, they're going to find the opportunity.

    So I think it's less about establishing rules when they hit 14 or 16 or 17 than it is about the decade and a half prior to that, when you help them develop a moral compass.
     
  25. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I agree with this completely. My mom always trusted me to make good decisions because she knew that when I was younger she had taught me what kind of decisions she wanted me to make, and then allowed me to mess up. She let me suffer consequences, both natural and given by her or the school, for any behavior she would not consider appropriate. By the time I was old enough to be making decisions that could have life-changing consequences, I understood that choices have real consequences. I didn't have that invincible thing I see with so many of my students today. So why I could have dated any time I wanted to, I really didn't want to until junior year, when the boys were a little more mature and not so focused only on physical things. I had some long-distance relationships before that, but nothing serious. Mom let boys who came to visit from out of town stay in my house, but not in my room.

    I saw so many of my friends whose parents tried to bail them out of everything (getting a doctor's note when they skipped class, bring work to school they had left at home, getting them out of service projects they did want to do, etc.) and those were the kids who always made the riskier choices because they had never really been held accountable for the choices that they made before.
     
  26. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think that's pretty much the key, along with a sense of right and wrong.
     
  27. TiffanyL

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    Jan 23, 2011

    I agree with what's being stated but....kids in the same family can be very different. Our kids had a good upbringing throughout the early years but one daughter just had that "streak" of rebellion. We approached things completely different with her compared to her sister, who didn't give us a lick of trouble.

    They are both good girls now but, with our oldest, we gave very little freedom until we knew she was mature enough to handle it.
     
  28. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Yes, the two siblings closest to me in age did some things they will not want their children to know of. We had the same upbringing...some things just don't "stick". :)
     
  29. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Couldn't agree more. My sister and I are 2 years apart and she was perfect and I was... less than perfect. I have wonderful parents who were more strict than most of my friends' parents were. I always knew I could go to my parents with anything. I honestly think they could not have been any better if they tried. I still got into trouble, its just in me.:dunno:
     
  30. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Jan 23, 2011

    My son is 17. He is a good kid. He doesn't cause us trouble. His football team goes out as a group to dinner and the movies on a regular bases. He went a few times, but after a scene at a restaurant and a few boys treated a waitress bad he stopped. He talks about "pack mentality" and explains that he doesn't want to be a part of it.

    I asked him at what age should kids be allowed to date. He said his wouldn't until they are 16. He then explained to me the age didn't matter, but the rules mattered. He told me that raising them up to that point was the most important thing. I think I must of raised a very smart boy. By the way, he "dates" a girl that lives over an hour and half away. They talk daily and text all the time. They spend weekends with us at livestock shows. They will be attending her prom (his is the same night, but he decided to go to hers) and I will drive him. I will spend the night in a hotel about twenty minutes from her home. He will come to the hotel after the prom and we will come home the next morning after meeting her and her parents for breakfast. Yes, I could allow him to drive to her home. And her parents even said he could stay at their house, but that isn't the way I want things done.
     
  31. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Jan 23, 2011

    Here is what we did:

    Our kids were allowed to have friends over almost any time. I wanted them in our home! As they got older, and the boy/girl crushes, etc. began, they did things in groups. My oldest did go to prom with a "date" but it was still with a group.
    She is now 21, doing well in college, and has yet to "date" anyone. She hangs out with guys and girls and they do things together in a group. Her philosophy (which her friends, boys and girls, share) is "Why date someone if you are not interested in getting married?" They believe they can "get to know" someone better by observing how they are with their friends, how they interact in difficult situations, etc.

    We encouraged "group" activities until about 17. She liked that and adopted it as her ground rule.
     
  32. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Absolutely!! That's part of the reason we have a pool, a wii, a pool table and a Kinnect.

    I KNOW WE'RE keeping an eye on the kids. So I'm very happy to have a mob of kids here.
     
  33. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Oh, and the bedroom was only for friends of the same sex after about 2nd grade. We didn't make a big deal about it, just provided something more fun in another area of the house. We also had my mom's absolute rule: no boys over unless a parent was home, and no going to a boy's house unless a parent was home.
     
  34. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Jan 24, 2011

    My oldest two daughters have pretty much only same-sex friends, so if they started asking for a boy to come over, or to go somewhere with a boy, it would be a big flag to me that there was some romantic interest going on. My oldest is 12, which I think is entirely too young to have any sort of romantic relationship. Fortunately, she seems to have no interest in one Some of her friends are totally boy crazy, though.

    The next one is only 10 and is light-years away from any sort of mature relationship.

    But the youngest one is 7 and her two best friends are boys. She is ALWAYS hanging out with them. They've slept over our house, she's slept over their houses. I can totally see having to keep a close eye on her as she goes into middle school because it will be hard to tell when boy relationships are more than friendship-based.
     

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