Preteen Night at the Movies?

"Mom and Dad, I want to go to the movies -- with a boy."

These very words, uttered for the first time, are enough to strike fear into even the most seasoned of parents. And what if it's your 10-year-old-daughter saying them? Is she too young to go out with a boy, even if his parents are going along? What if you don't know the parents -- would you allow her to go?

Parent Soup posed this question to parents recently. Out of 562 votes, 73.13 percent said they would allow her to go if they knew the boy's parents. Another 14.23 percent responded, "I wouldn't have a problem if his parents were there (it's not really a date at that age anyway)." Rounding out the votes at 12.63 percent were the parents who said they would absolutely not allow their daughter to go.

pollywalidoodle responded, "I wouldn't let her go if I didn't know the parents, male or female. But I would let her go if I knew the parents, and they were seeing the movie too."

frantictoo added, "At that age it's not a date thing, but I would feel uncomfortable letting my child go anywhere with someone that I don't know."

ccmom41 had a different opinion. "I would let her go. At some point the parents have to pick her up or you have to drop her off. Then you can meet the parents, talk and let them know your rules."

phdandmrs said, "No problem -- if I knew the parents and they were staying with the kids. I haven't let our 10-year-old go to the movies by himself yet. I'm not sure when I will allow that."

dao663 offered, "If it was a boy that my daughter didn't know very well and I didn't know the parents very well, then no, I probably wouldn't let her go. I just wouldn't feel comfortable with that [situation]."

On the other hand, sewchris703 said the idea didn't bother her. "I would [let her go]. It would be a play date and not a boyfriend date. My daughter is still very vocal about how she doesn't want a boyfriend anyway. None of [my daughters] had very serious boyfriends in high school. The dates were always group things until they left school. Not because of any rules on our part -- that was just the way it worked out."

cher062 agreed, "I don't see it as a date -- more like buddies going to a movie. When I was young, there were hardly any girls in the area. I had lots of friends that were boys that I would do kid stuff with."

kearneymom concluded, "I know a lot of my children's friends, classmates, etc., but I haven't met all the parents. If my child came and asked to go with Billy to the movies and his parents were going along, I would invite them inside, talk to them, etc., then maybe set this movie thing for [the following] week."

Most parents were not concerned that it would be a boy-girl outing. Several felt that, at this stage, it couldn't be considered a date. The biggest concern was whether or not the parents would stay at the theater with the children. For the majority, they didn't mind their daughter being at the theater with a boy, as long as she wasn't there alone with a boy.

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