DD setting sites on older guys because..

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Registered: 03-26-2003
DD setting sites on older guys because..
8
Sun, 04-27-2003 - 3:47pm
she is saying she isn't even interested in guys younger than 15 now because of a few encounters she's had this past year.

Over the past year, she has been in friendship-development mode w/3-4 aged 13-14 boys she knows - she had a crush on one of them - and she told me that each time, inexplicably, these guys just stopped trying to get to know her. 3 of these boys initiated contact w/her by asking her to dance at dances and then exchanging email addresses w/her or getting her screen name from a mutual friend (she already knew the boys - they had changed schools or just never knew her screen name)and IM'ing her first. None of them are her classmates. She knew them all through extra-curricular activities or they were prior classmates that changed schools.

My DD is a very level-headed girl and would try to get more acquainted by discussing things like mutual music taste, extra-curricular activities, family activities, etc. She isn't a big "flirt" and doesn't talk "sexy". From what I've observed and from what she's told me, she basically talked to them like another guy would. The IM'ing and emailing would continue for a period of time and then they would just stop and she wouldn't continue after a point because she says that she (like anyone) got tired of always making the effort. She's a very funny and easy-to-talk-to girl and she's also very beautiful and I'm not just speaking as a mom - She's beautiful in the teenage boy definition. I think this bears mentioning since at this age many boys and girls don't look beyond the "cover".

Well, now she has told me that when she enters high school in September, she's setting her sites on the Junior and Senior boys at the private boys' school that is brother school to her girls' school. She won't be allowed to date, but I can see that I may be in for some storms on the horizon, since there have already been some (quickly quashed by DH and me)interests expressed by older boys. When I tell her that this won't be allowed, she flings herself on the bed and asks what should she do when guys her own age don't "even want to be her friend". My and DH's answer: "Keep involved w/activities and keep your nose to the grindstone at school and forget about boys for awhile", but I know that the male/female stuff can't totally be ignored at this age and I don't want to sound totally insensitive. Also, I know that the way these other friendships did not develop has put her into "What's wrong w/me?" mode to some extent. As a note, my DD has a large group of girlfriends both inside and outside school, so she has no problem making friends.

Also, I should note that she has developed 5 friendships w/older girls - Freshman through Junior. It amazes me, but these girls seem to have no problem bumming around w/my DD. I always had the impression that a Sophomore, for example, wouldn't be caught dead hanging out with an 8th grader. My DD is quite a bit older looking, though and no one seems to believe she's only 13 going on 14, but these girls do know her age. My fear here is that these girls will give my DD some access to older boys. Some hints have been dropped already. The girls are all very nice and well-behaved, however, and haven't tried to get my DD to go in cars w/them or anything like that.

Any suggestions? Or, have you dealt w/this, too?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-14-2003
Sun, 04-27-2003 - 4:22pm
Hey Mary. . .

Take it from me and from my daughter, Junior and Senior boys can and will be as immature as the kids her age. My son (sophomore) tells me all sorts of things about relationships between shophomore girls who take up with upperclassmen. One of his friends (girl) just had herself tested for mono because her now ex-boyfriend had contracted it. Gee wonder where he got it from? Well, come to find out, he called this girl and told her that he hoped she didn't mind that another girl was over studying and then proceeded to tell this kid that him and the girl got rather *involved*. She broke it off and he has attempted to make amends. Not mature behavior from a Senior huh? That's the way it is.

Also, kids can be friends with the opposite sex with no problems. She probably will be mildly surprised as to how many guys will be her friend when she is older. Not everything ends in boy/girl friend status. My two go to a public school and they both have friends of the opposite sex and that's it. They have also figured out for themselves watching peers' grades go down and other problems appear that perhaps involvement at this point in their life is best left until they reach college. Not that they wouldn't love to have a boy/girl friend, but they know that their education is of utmost importance right now and they will have all of their lives to date.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 04-27-2003 - 9:08pm
Hi, Twoki,

I'm sure you're right about the Junior, Senior boys and probably about many boys straight through college. I've also told my DD that some of these boys will have much more intimate things in mind in terms of a relationship. This seems to give her some pause since she has firm religious beliefs and very strict ideas about what she is willing to "do" with boys - so far it ain't much and none of it has happened, thank God. She hasn't had a bf or been kissed and she says that's going to only happen "someday with someone special".

The grade thing also concerns me. She's been accepted into the honors program in the high school and I always worry that if she had a bf, her grades would suffer, so I'm hoping, too, that nothing will develop beyond friendships and/or guys to escort her to some of the big, memorable events of HS such as the prom, winter ball - the type of things that come up in the later HS years.

A lot of the problem is that these older boys, in spite of their immaturity in relationships, are much more "out there" about liking girls. If they like them, they let them know and ask them on dates. Because the younger boys are so silent about their feelings, many girls like my DD just feel unliked and get reassurance from these more verbal, flirtatious boys.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Mon, 04-28-2003 - 9:41am
Hi Mary,

I agree with Deb on this one. Kids, both boys and girls, mature at different rates. Perhaps your dd is a bit more mature than some kids her age and/or perhaps the sophomore/jr. girls that she hangs around with are a bit more immature than some girls their age.

As far as the boys - you've mentioned before that your dd goes to a very small school. Will there be more boys at the boys school next year? I suspect she'll get to know some freshmen and sophomores that are much more mature than some juniors and seniors. Plus just being in high school matures most kids, both boys and girls. Jr. high kids, boys or girls, are NOT known for their sensitivity and maturity! Her classmates that are so immature this year (and from what you've said about some of the girls in her class it sounds like it's not only the boys that are a bit immature) may be completely different in 6 months.

Since she's not going to be able to date these older guys I wouldn't worry much about it. When she makes those comments just ignore them instead of reminding her that she won't be allowed to do it. Kids do this all the time - 'when I get to high school I'm going to....' or 'when I grow up I'm going to....'. As adults we know that very few things go as you plan them to and not everything is in black and white. Kids don't really have the experience and maturity to understand this yet, though.

Good luck!

Pam



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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-28-2003
Mon, 04-28-2003 - 3:18pm
Having two teen girls - we have two sayings in our house which we use at least once a week. The first is "Girls suck" and the second is "Boys are pigs". Those sayings help explain a lot in high school and middle school.
Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Mon, 04-28-2003 - 11:02pm
I worried about the older guy thing too. We had a few rules about datiing: group dating at 14, one-on-one at 16 but both depended on "readiness" such as showing good judgement, ability to resist peer pressure, etc. The other rule was no dating anyone more than 1 year younger or older, or 1 grade different in school. Occasionally we would remind dd of the rules, but we didn't have to all of the time. A lot of time the talk is venting or dreaming or trying to shock me so I try to keep my mouth shut.

There have been a few times over the years that we have used the age rule to discourage a relationship from developing, which is the best I felt we could do. The older boy could come visit her at the house when a parent was home but she couldn't go anywhere with him. We bent the rules once in 10th grade, and by 11th grade we have pretty much let it go. If she wanted to date a 24yo I would still object but dd has mostly liked guys her age or just slightly older. It was most useful at 13-14yo when we worried that she was so naive that some guy could take advantage of her before she realized what was going on.

Both of my kids had/have friends of different ages. The teens seem to choose friends based more on common interests and mutual friends than on age or grade.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2003
Wed, 05-14-2003 - 3:54am
Hmmm. I don't mean to offend, but it seems to be that you're judging teenage girls as a lot shallower than we really are. I personally would love to hang out with an eighth, or even seventh or sixth grader who knew what they were all about. I think it's wise of her to want to have relationships with older boys, and she really seems like the kind of girl who would know how to avoid the ones who just wanted sex. I myself am a freshman dating a junior, and I'm very content, he's the most wonderful, mature, intelligent, and creative person I've ever met. I think you should trust your daughter to make the right descisions, because even if she makes a few mistakes, they will be lessons worth learning.

If you or her would like to talk to me on instant messenger, my AOL IM screen name is "yeah riot".

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-15-2003 - 7:14am
Wow are you in for a *big* eye opener if you think a boy two or three grades ahead of you in school would hang out for you for *any* reason other than the potential for sex.

I hope you are *very* careful about where and under what circumstances you "hang out".

Firefly

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-28-2003
Thu, 05-15-2003 - 11:44am
Excuse me if I ramble; I'm SO tired. First, to the mom who has the girls suck and boys are pigs -- we have similar sayings - Before my son was born, I taught my girls to say "boys are stupid" when they felt let down by a boy. Now, we tell my infant son that "girls are evil!" :)

My dd, too, is 14 and interested in older boys. In fact, she's dating a 17 yo. Am I happy about it? No. But, I know that if I forbade it, she would do it behind my back. I work 3 dys per wk and can't always control where she is/who she is with, so I've made it my policy to try to set limits we can all live with. This way the boy picks her up at our door, tells me where they are going, what they will be doing, and returns her to my door rather than sneaking around.

We've had the sex talk. She agrees she's not ready and says this boy has never tried anything other than hold her hand. (Her sister, who will do her best to get her in trouble, has reported that they aren't fooling around at all to her knowledge.) Do I know for sure nothing will happen? Of course not, so I've had the sex talk with her.

Girls ARE more mature than boys at this age, and it's so evident by her classmates. All the girls are much taller and mostly developed, wear make up, etc. The boys still look like little boys!

Kathy

dd 16 yo

dd 14 yo

ds 13 months