Age Appropriate Play Dates

Vanessa - posted on 11/21/2014 ( 2 moms have responded )




I have a question about grade school children hanging out with the opposite sex. I have an acquaintance of mine our daughters hang out. Her's just turned 9 and mine is 10 1/2. Recently I was told that her daughter has a boyfriend and they are allowed to go on supervised dates, they talk all the time and tell each other they love each other which is cute I suppose. My daughter was asked to join on a double date, to which I declined. Then I started looking up age appropriate play dates and I was surprised to see how many are okay with it upon reading them I see why it's okay because it's being reinforced that these are just what it is play dates with the opposite sex. Of course my daughter hands out with her cousin and his friends as well as our next door neighbor is a 10 yr old boy. I just wanted to know at what point is it crossing the line and is it okay to allow your child the impression at the age of 9 that they are in love and dating and then actually bringing them on dates and again yes supervised dates. I can see the innocence in it when I read these articles but I thought my aquaintence was plum crazy with the phone calls and Instagram pictures of threatening other little girls that even ask for his number! That I don't agree with at 9 and now I'm very confused and I do not want to inhibit my child. So is it okay to have two 10 yr olds that have never known each other other then school just go out on supervised play dates?


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Sarah - posted on 11/21/2014




Kids grow up fast enough without them starting act like adults before they even start puberty! I see this all the time at the school I work at, and I find it weird and inappropriate. I think is fine for kids to play together and socialize with the opposite gender during the preteen years. I draw the line at anything more than platonic friendship. Why does a 9 yo even have an instagram account and what on earth does she talk about over the phone with her "boyfriend". Many may argue it is just semantics; if I let my 10yo daughter go bowling with a friend who is a boy and his parents go with them, how is that different? If my daughter referred to a boy as "her boyfriend" and then threatened another child for talking to him, I would be horrified.
I guess it is a matter of what you think is right for your kids. My daughter is almost 16 and has just earned the privilege of going on her first date. Until now, all boy/girl activities were in groups and all of the parents were on the same page.
What one family views as harmless fun, I view as potentially dangerous. Kids are exposed to mature content so often and so early that they see it as normal and benign. Where do you draw the line? If you allow your tween to hold hands, kiss, hug or use terms of endearment before they are really ready, then they may progress to more serious acts that much sooner without realizing the potential physical or emotional consequences.

Dove - posted on 11/21/2014




'Dating' at this age is completely inappropriate... as is having a boyfriend/girlfriend. There should be zero focus on 'one on one' at this age. Small GROUPS of boys and girls hanging out and doing stuff together is fine... and good, but dating or even double dating... hell no, not in my family. My oldest is 13 and while she is 'boy crazy' they are still just FRIENDS at this point. She also knows girls in her class who have boyfriends and talk about them all the time and are 'in love' and having sex too... and those are the girls that she thinks are idiots... and this is 8th grade...

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