Dating in the 4th Grade

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by cMcD, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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    We're starting to have dating problem in the 4th grade at my school. It's mostly in my classroom and one of the other 4th grade classrooms. It's creating a lot of drama between girls especially. Boys are breaking up with girls to "date" other girls. Gifts are being bought and exchanged. And now it's leading into touching. The other day my students came in from watching a movie in music class and told me that a boy was "putting the moves" on his "girlfriend" in my class during the movie. I asked what that meant and they said putting your arm around a girl. I saw the same boy put his hands on this girls shoulders the other day. I asked my students the other day what their parents thought about them "dating" and they said that their parents are fine with it. Heck, their parents TAKE them on dates. We're planning to have the counselor come in and talk to them. The other teacher and I are trying to put together a letter to parents about the situation, but I'm having trouble trying to word it. Any suggestions?
     
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  3. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    No suggestions BUT I have issues with that and I'm only a kinder teacher.
     
  4. emmyblemmy

    emmyblemmy Companion

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    Fourth grade??? Gosh, I thought this was a middle-school rite of passage, not elementary.
     
  5. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Well, what actual problems is it causing?
    Are they the type of problems that are more than just "best friends" create?

    If you can define the problems that are actually occurring, that should be your basis for discussing it.
     
  6. GrandHighWitch

    GrandHighWitch Companion

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    I wondered about this before Christmas when my 4th graders started. It's my first year, so I didn't know if that was "normal" for 4th graders these days or not.

    With my class, it seemed like it was just a phase, and now it seems to be over. It started with one "couple" hooking up, and all of their friends on both sides made a big deal out of it, and then the boy's friends started "asking out" girls, and for about a week, I had at least three "couples" in my room, and they made a big deal out of it. There was nothing touchy-feely or inappropriate I saw going on, but they made it obvious they were "going out." I was torn between finding it cute/funny and thinking it was ridiculous and kind of frightening LOL.

    Then we went on Christmas break, and since we got back, I haven't heard much about it. Things seem to have cooled down over the break LOL.
     
  7. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Glad I'm not there- yet. We have a bubbling little situation with two kids, but nothing happening so far... I'm hoping it subdues shortly!
     
  8. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    When I taught 5th grade several years ago I had a parent tell me that she would say her prayers with her daughter at night, tuck her in, & that's when she gave her her birth control pill!!!
     
  9. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Odd, but when I taught fourth grade, I had problems with boy-girl "going out with" situations that disrupted learning. When I moved to fifth, it stopped. Fourth graders, to me, or so much more openly seeking approval from their peers. Fifth graders are quieter about it.

    But touching each other in fourth grade is a problem that needs to be dealt with. I wonder if the parents are aware that the innocent "dating" has progressed to that point? I'd ask them what will be ok with them in middle school if putting an arm around each other in fourth is ok.
     
  10. dxiechicken41

    dxiechicken41 Rookie

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    I have kids being sneaky about liking each other. I think they're afraid to act like they do. I catch them making weird faces at each other. It's kind of funny.
     
  11. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I think this might be a good time to talk about respecting personal space. Fourth graders do start getting goofy about who likes whom, but there doesn't need to be any touching involved.
     
  12. Mrs LC

    Mrs LC Comrade

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    We ended up banning all boy-girl "relationships" at school with our grade 5/6s. We had too many problems with hurt feelings, girls being harrassed by being asked to go out with boys too often, jealousy and invasions of personal space. Now the rule is that romance remains outside the school or it's detention for the kids. We never consulted parents about our decision, but I'd vigorously defend it if I needed to.
     
  13. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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    Well, it's starting to disrupt learning time. Girls will come in from recess crying and/or upset because a boy broke up with her. I wish it would have died down over Christmas break, but it amplified! The kids that are "dating" are teasing or telling students that aren't "dating" to date so and so, when these students don't want anything to do with it. The school counselor is coming in on Monday. We're just having problems writing this letter. And I know a lot of parents probably don't know what's going on. I have talked to a couple parents that have said that boys call their house at night asking for their daughters.

    Perhaps we should ban relationships all together like you said Mrs LC.

    It's basically the escalating touching that's bothering me.
     
  14. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    We have a PDA rule at the jr. hi., no Public Display of Affection, but there's nothing in place at the school I'm at now. I had one of my second graders kiss a girl while on a field trip!! I was really upset about it & found out that there wasn't anything in our handbook about it at all. I immediately e-mailed my principal & told him it needed to be formally addressed. I had problems when I taught 5th grade, but never expected to have an issue of this kind in 2nd grade.
     
  15. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Some parents are idiots.........
     
  16. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    They really are! Common sense would be to tell your kid that they are too young to date. When parents think its cute that their kids are dating it makes it okay for the kid to try to do other adult behavior, such as toughing-and then that escalates. Your kids can't be more than 10 or 11 years old! Parents need to be more active in making sure their kids maintain their innocence.

    Have you asked your counselor what she is going to discuss? Maybe she can give you the right words to put in your letter, since she already knows what she will say to the kids.
     
  17. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Birth control pills for a 5th grader???...:(:(

    I've never had a daughter... Maybe this is "normal." What age do parents start giving their daughters birth control pills anyway???

    Major......
     
  18. GrandHighWitch

    GrandHighWitch Companion

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    A boy in my class proposed to me on the playground when we were in 2nd grade LOL. From my memories of being in school, I don't think it's that abnormal. In fact, the kissing stuff might be more common in 2nd grade than it is in 5th... by 5th grade, they're more aware of social norms and etiquette.
     
  19. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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    Thank you. Who would take their 9-10 yr old out on a date!? That IS NOT cute!
     
  20. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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    When I was in high school (1999-2003) I would say 15-16. However, I think they're going on it earlier nowadays... and I can see why.
     
  21. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    i don't have a clue...... soooooooooo......cmcdonno, your best guess, how much earlier???

    Anyone out there..... how early are girls being given birth control pills?????
     
  22. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    I've never handed out BC to my daughter........and she is 21.
     
  23. Budaka

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    I like this thread. I always feel very old-fashioned but it makes me sick when I hear a seventh grader say ya I used to date him. I am like what? You are in seventh grade and you use to date someone? My children are not going to date until they are in high school. I once taught a seventh grader who was pregnant-with her second child! I also had a student who had a baby when she was eleven.
    Cell phones are not allowed in our school. But we have had a rash of texting going on (they text when they go to the bathroom). And a lot of it is just plain nasty. I saw one text a boy had sent a girl and it was very graphic and nasty. Yuck.
     
  24. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    My fifth graders have tried this mess. I really discourage it. Some parents encourage it. Lucky for me, most of my kids this year are still too young. The year I had 16 girls in my class, they allll went after ONE boy. I felt bad for him.
     
  25. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    In the 5th grade I feel sorry for him too........ Now if he's a senior well........:D:D:D.... more power to him........:p:p
     
  26. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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    I just heard from my students that some students are paying other students to go out or break up with another student!!! One boy paid another boy $10 to tell a girl he liked her. This is CRAZY!
     
  27. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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    I would say 13-14 (middle school) now. STI's were an epidemic in the district I student taught in last year. In the fifth grade sex ed. program they had to talk about intercourse, oral, and anal sex.
     
  28. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    :help::help:What is an STI?
     
  29. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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  30. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    "In the fifth grade sex ed. program they had to talk about intercourse, oral, and anal sex."

    Who had to "talk" about it? Students or teachers??...........:unsure:

    Major
     
  31. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I had to address this issue with my 5th graders last year. They were passing notes and giggling about who "hooked up with" whom. I asked them what they meant by it and they said dating and stuff. So, I just gave it to them straight and embarrassed the heck out of them all.

    Here's the gist: I said that they might feel like they are interested in dating and boys/girls because it was their body's way of telling them that they would soon be teenagers. The feelings are totally normal, but that doesn't mean that they should be acting on the feelings. It doesn't mean that they are ready and they shouldn't be focusing on boy/girl relationships at their age. Doing so interferes with their real jobs - to do well in school, be good friends, enjoy their families.

    It really seemed to help a lot to acknowledge the prepubescent feelings and yet remind them that they are still children. In fact, I think it reassured a few kids.
     
  32. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I can't remember the specifics, but last year there was some sort of incident with disgustingly inappropriate notes being passed around. One of the students turned in a particularly vile note to me and I called the principal down. I shoed her the note and basically asked her to stay in the room while I gave them all a good talking to. Thank goodness I teach in a parochial school. I went into everything the Church teaches about human sexuality, how it's one of God's greatest gifts, how we are to respect our bodies and on and on. I even asked how they would feel if we made photo copies of the note and sent them to the parents explaining how I came by it. They were mortified. I kept the note "just in case" but they shut everything down right then and kept everything clean for the rest of the year.
     
  33. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    And just to be clear, I did explain that these feelings are natural and they are a sign of growing up, but it was not appropriate to act on them. I never made it sound dirty or sinful or bad. Just redirected them to the sanctity of the act.
     
  34. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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    Teachers had to talk about it with students. It was part of the sex ed. program. In the 5th grade we just got the "growing up" video about body hair and getting our periods. Oh how the times have changed...
     
  35. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    So you just got the "growing up" video......... :D:D

    and it was about body hair and getting periods......:eek::eek:

    Just kidding you cmcdonno......... I think time has passed me by...hugs for you..:hugs:

    Major...:):)
     

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