Should school-age children have best friends of the opposite sex?

Sure, it's cute when boys and girls play together in preschool, but what about your nine-year-old—should she be hanging out with boys?

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12  Answers

317 9

I'm more than a little surprised that this question is even being asked in 2012. My nearly 11 year old daughter is at this moment playing with her 11 year old male friend whom she's known since infancy. A good friend is worth keeping, even if their chromosomes are different than yours. :-)

3 21

There shouldn't be an issue with boys and girls being friends. This causes the issue when they are teenagers, and even adults. "Women/Men can't be friends with Men/Women without there being something sexual." Why make a big deal out of it when they are tweens/teens? If you have a trusting relationship with your child and you've raised them to respect themselves and others there should be no issue of what sex their best friend is. As adults we all believe men can be friends with women and vice versa, so why should it be a "bad" thing for children? They are forming lasting friendships and healthy relationships!

9 24

It really shouldn't be an issue. The only people it would be an issue for would be adults because we think of the opposite sex in a sexual way. Children do not think about it that way unless adults put that kind of thought in their head. So to tell a child you can't be friends with your current best friend because of parts he/she was born with just creates more grown-ups that can't think about the opposite sex in a non-sexual way.

4 7

I think they should be allowed to play together . My 8 year old twins girls got their feelings hurt, when they asked our neighbor if they could play with her 8 and 6 year old sons. She said, no, that boys shouldn't play with girls! They were really upset and didn't understand why. Children are innocent and we should leave them that way!

1 40

Wow! I am really surprised at this question. My 10 year old daughter's best friend is a boy and if it were not for him she probably would not have made it through this year. You see my daughter was being bullied by those "tee hee" clicky, lets make you feel bad about yourself type of girls. My daughter is different, she has her own style, she can be "girly" but she is also athletic and loves sports. She is beautiful, caring and giving. But because of this girl in her class she convinced my daughter to think that she was not the awesome person that she is, we saw the starting signs of an eating disorder with my daughter. Her male best friend was her anchor! her rock! He protected her when needed, he was there to listen and he was there when she needed to just let loose and play a round of soccer. Children should be able to identify with whom they choose. They should hang around with people (no matter what the sex) that make them feel good about themselves. Oh and by the way. My best friend (besides my husband) is a guy and he has been my best friend since we were 12.

71 40

Absolutely a 9-year-old girl should be hanging out with boys her age or one year older. I personally see nothing wrong with it. You don't state why you have a concern about boys and girls aged 9 hanging out together. How else are children going to learn what it's like to be around the opposite gender if they don't hang out together? It's not like they're 'dating', 'having sex', and/or living together! I really don't understand why it would be a big deal, but then, like I said, there's not enough information to understand why this question is even being asked.

2 0

i would'nt too much as they get older they will want to hang out less and they most likley feel like brother and sister at 8 and 9 they are still children with inocent minds but if the big talk starts so to speak they will start to think hanging out with each other is wrong and begin to feel as if they are doing wrong that would be a shame as at this age they need to feel secure in their friendship to beable to develope trust with the fact one a girl and the other a boy

0 0

My son is 8 and he has a close neighbor friend that is 9. They play together all the time, and have for about 4 years, so I don't see anything wrong with it now. I think that as they get older, we will need to make sure to explain some things to them, but at 8 yrs old, I am not worried about right now.

15 0

I'm fourteen and all of my best friends are guys. They are really funny and don't have all that girl drama. They are amazing at picking you up and dusting you off. Plus they just treat me like "one of the guys".

110 53

As a child growing up in the 70's, I wasn't allowed to have male friends. In fact, ,y Mom wouldn't even let me play with my male COUSINS at our family get togethers! So the more she prohibited it, the more I snuck around.
Fast forward to a new century and being an adult, I have two daughters ages 17 & 9.
My oldest, Ley, was never comfortable around children, much less girls. As she grew up she had maybe three girl friends. In between the years of Middle School and HS, she grew depressed and was wieghing in at close to 300lbs. Not easy to make friends with any of the reed thin little girls, but very easy to join the football team and bring on the pain! Now in her Senior year, and about 100lbs lighter, she has more male friends than females and she is much healthier for it. Ley wears dresses occassionally and even asks for a mani pedi once in a while! She is into Comic Books, Anime and Video games, Museums and Art Galleries. Hates shopping for clothes (God I love this child!) and wears her hair in a pony tail. Her boyfriend is just like her, except he won't get mani's!
Abby, my 9 year old is always in between. She has plenty of male friends but recently developed a relationship with a boy in her former class. My girl is almost 5 feet tall, this little boy is about her hieght and maybe a bit heavier. They talk wrestling and anime and just general things. Abby actually prefers him over her two "bestfriends" because there is no rivalry or drama.
Boys AND girls are better off having opposite sex friendships

2 26

I see nothing wrong with this. I think it is healthy for girls to have good friends that are boys and vice versa. When they get older and start to date and spend time with the opposite sex it is good for them to have boundaries set for what they think is appropriate and inappropriate. How will they know what those boundaries are if they dont have healthy relationships with the opposite sex before then?

8 39

Please absolutely allow ur daughter to have male friends!My bestie & I have been in each others lives for 22 yrs!!!Completely platonic and no his NOT gay!I've had male friends my whole live and believe you me, they are not as bitchy, judgemental and mean as some girls are. I also grew up being taught by them how most guys talk about girls and it made me not wanna be one of those girls that guys "talk" abt.She will also grow up to know when guys are bullshitting and won't fall into the trap that most girls fall into when guys sweet talk them.& the bonus is that she will always be safe when she goes out.Don't read too much into it unless there's a cause for concern.

42 3

I'm chiming in to add only one thing: it's important for a child to have friends of both sexes. The only time I think that it's not a really healthy thing is when a child is in an environment with only members of the opposite gender; for example, my son goes to a school for children with special needs, and at his fifth-grade graduation it was entirely boys, with only one girl. I spoke to her parents who told me they deliberately got her into a school where there are girls as well as boys because that's something she needs. But I would also say that I know adults who have had close friends as older children of the opposite sex, and siblings of the opposite sex, and they have remarkably healthier marriages/love relationships. I really believe that it is a bonus.

6 10

I used to think it is perfectly natural for little boys and girls to play together. Unfortunately due to a very recent incident I do NOT think that my 4 year old daughter is safe playing with boys (especially her formerly good friend) if I am not personally there to keep an eye. Not everybody raise their children the same as we do. Mommies, please DO NOT BE TOO TRUSTING with your precious little children. Wolves wear sheepskins these days.

8 0

Of course! Why not?!!!

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