13 and a boyfriend?

Avatar for diamond63
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-05-2003
13 and a boyfriend?
7
Thu, 06-05-2003 - 9:15am
Hello,

I am new to this board. I have two children, one is 21 and my daughter is 13. I don't know if either of us will survive this time of raging hormones, tears on demand, slamming doors, feeling of despair on both sides. She likes this boy..he is 14 and she is 13..apparently, they are an "item". They walk home from school together...all she wants to talk about is him and that he listens to her and makes her feel special...I thought I did that. I don't want her to have a "boyfriend", as far as I am concerned she is too young. I am stuck...I don't want to upset her and add to her feelings of inadequacy or have her hate me because I voice my opinion...I am the parent...right? Ahhhhhhh...I don't remember it being this hard with my son. I don't know what to do or what to say. Its okay that she has a friend that is a boy but NOT a "boyfriend" persay. Help meeeee please..any advice or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for listening.

Diamond
Avatar for sabrtooth
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Registered: 12-03-1999
Thu, 06-05-2003 - 10:54am
As long as ALL they do is walk home from school together, or hold hands IN THE SCHOOL HALL, or eat lunch together IN THE CAFETERIA AT SCHOOL, everything will be fine. My dds had those kind of "boyfriends", too, and it helps develop their sense of self worth at a time when that can be elusive thing! As long as they're not going to one another's house, or spending ANY time together EXCEPT at school & in crowds of kids in public places, these "boyfriends" are the next tiny step after having Justin Timberlake as a bf! Tell her that she isn't allowed to DATE till she is 16 or 17, it's great that she's got a special FRIEND, but there have to be some restrictions when that friend is opposite sex! Calm down Mom--just LISTEN to her, don't interfer, just DON"T encourage get togethers. THAT will make you special to her. A mom who can be her sounding board & crying shoulder, because it WILL come to that, sooner or later.
Avatar for diamond63
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-05-2003
Thu, 06-05-2003 - 11:28am
Hello,

I just wanted to thank you for your words of wisdom. This scares me so much. Sometimes I just don't know what to say or what kind of ground rules to set for her. If I could I wouldn't allow her to date until she is ohhhhh 29, but that is impossible. I just want to make sure that she knows she can come to me with anything, no matter how hard it may be for both of us to discuss. I don't want to fall into a trap where I force her to lie to me or back away and start sneaking around. I definately will not encourage a "boyfriend' "girlfriend" relationship at this age. She wants him to come over to meet us sometime..for "pizza". I don't even know what to say to that? I think its okay. I am just plain confused.

Thanks so much for replying.

Diamond
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Thu, 06-05-2003 - 1:42pm
Sabr has great advice as usual. At this age it's common to 'go out' and as I told the boys they can 'go out' all they want in middle school as long as the romances are limited to school. I'd listen, be understanding but don't make too big a deal of any of the ever-changing romances. As far as him coming over to the house - I'd put that one off for awhile - There's a good chance it will fizzle out on it's own before anything comes of that anyway. Or perhaps she could have a group of friends over and include him. IMO inviting a 'boyfriend' over one-on-one is a bit more of a date than I'd be comfortable with at that age.

Pam



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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2003
Thu, 06-05-2003 - 10:18pm
Welcome to the board diamond :o). As a relative "newbie" myself I am still finding my way around too.

You say that "all dd wants to talk about is him". What does she say?? Does what she says sound like "he's the one", or is it just the innocent, harmless stuff we all went through. Do you think it would prove helpful to ask your 21 year old how he felt about such relationships?? As a "formerly 14yr old boy", perhaps his input would be useful.

Either way, there have to be firm rules layed down that you can decide on between you. Keeping any meetings restricted to school and home (with parental supervision) would be the first on my list.

You must still make dd feel special - she wouldn't have told you anything about this boy if she didn't trust you. I'm sure she will understand that you are just worried about her and feeling sad that your little girl is growing up. (Hugs)

Best of luck to you both.

Lynette

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Thu, 06-05-2003 - 10:34pm
I really agree with Pam on the point about not having ONLY him over for dinner--even if it IS just "pizza". You don't want to give the relationship too much weight in her eyes. She'll do enough of that all on her own. Don't encourage her. But don't DIScourage her either. If that sounds confusing, what I mean is--DON'T cluck over how cute he is, what a nice boy he is, what a catch he is for your dd. ALSO DON'T SAY he'll break your heart, don't let him touch you, you don't need a bf you've got me. Just remind her, that your rules are that she not be one-on-one with a boy till she's 16 or so, more mature, & had more experience judging people. Tell her she can introduce him to you when everyone is together for a band concert at school, or at a baseball game, or when you pick up ALL her friends for a few hours at the mall--while YOU shop a few stores down from them!! You'll get the hang of it! XO, SAM
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Registered: 10-26-1999
Fri, 06-06-2003 - 12:49am
Hi diamond! This is a great place to get advice, and it looks like you got some really good feedback. I agree with pretty much everything that the others said. I just wanted to add my 2 cents, since I have 2 hormonally challenged dds, ages 16 and 21! Needless to say, we've been down this road. I'll tell you a funny story. When my youngest was 6, she and a little boy in her 1st grade class liked each other. One day they planned a "date" - she invited him over to play. Now I wouldn't have thought anything of it, because geesh, they were 6! But they DID like each other, you know? As silly as it sounds, I felt weird about it - but I felt even weirder making anything out of it, so of course I let him come over. My dd got all primped up - her favorite overalls, her hair fixed in a nice ponytail with her favorite clip - and little Alex dressed in his nicest blue jeans, sharpest sweater, and brought his favorite toy truck to share! Then they went in her bedroom, and shut the door to play (GASP!) - something that we NEVER allow now! I found out later from her that he gave her a little toy of melted plastic beads that he made, and asked her to marry him. Her answer was, "Maybe when we grow up!" LOLOL!

OK - so my point is, at 6 years old my dd had a bf! BUT - their interactions matched their age. When she got to middle school, she "went out" with a boy for a whole year...but they barely talked. They wrote an occasional note, held hands and hugged once in awhile, and exchanged gifts at Christmas. Her next "boyfriend" in middle school lasted 3 weeks. He walked her home a couple of times, they held hands, and when he kissed her on the cheek she dumped him because THAT made her really uncomfortable! (They are really good friends now!)

It sounds like your dd has a big crush, and frankly, I think you should feel very proud that she is so open with you. When she talks to you, LISTEN and try REALLY hard to refrain from making any judgments. How you react now will set the tone for how comfortable she feels opening up to you later, when the risks associated with relationships are a lot higher. Like the others said, just simply share the rules for age-appropriate boy/girl interactions. If she asks if they can go someplace together, let her know that she's too young to "date" but they can meet at a school function or do group things with parental supervision...whatever you're comfortable with.

Hang on to the roller coaster, mom - the ride gets a lot wilder! It's good we all are here for each other!

                        Calmama54, from the beautiful


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 7:13am
Good advice from everyone. Totally agree with calmama. My dd had a 'boyfriend' in kindergarten - but everything was very age appropriate. I think, however, that in middle school things change a lot. There is a lot more going on at this age than there was when we were growing up. In our area, oral sex is not that uncommon in middle school. So - I would just do what others have suggested - keep an eye on the situation, be thrilled that she talks to you about it and that she is suggesting you have him over to meet him. An open relationship with mom and dad is good! But I would suggest that it be done with a group, as opposed to one-on-one. Also at this age there can be a lot of difference between the ages 13 and 14, in terms or relationship experiences. Seems they grow up so much and so fast at this time.