Saturday, August 23, 2008

Boyfriends and Girlfriends and Pregnancy, Oh My!

OK, break out the Geritol, I'm going to say it! What is with kids today? When did it become totally commonplace for kids that are really young to have girlfriends and boyfriends? I don't mean 15-year olds. I'm referring to kids as young as nine. When Weston started middle school he was 10, and I admit I was excited for him to start that next big grown-up phase. I thought it was cool that he had started showing some interest in the opposite sex. And not just in a phew, my strapping young lad isn't gay, kind of way. When a thirteen-year-old in his Language Arts class turned up pregnant last year, that really dampened my enthusiasm.

I'm willing to concede that maybe it's just the grumpy jealous lady in me crabbing about this because girls show a limited interest in my son. He's good-looking and pretty cool so they aren't totally indifferent, but we don't get the giggling phone calls that other moms complain so bitterly (and probably disingenuously) about. Would I be "complaining" (Oh, that Weston. He's just so darned popular with the girls. Good luck getting through on our phone lines with all the calls he gets.) about those phone calls if we were getting them? Yeah, probably. Who doesn't want their son or daughter to be wildly popular and successful with the opposite sex? (He gets that from my side of the family, you know!)

It seems like a lot of the shows on Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon have all of these characters with high squeaky baby voices it hot pursuit of the opposite sex. I wonder if kids watch these shows and start to feel like they aren't normal if they haven't got a girlfriend or boyfriend by the time they're eleven. Putting a total ban on dating isn't a good idea either. In fact, taking the mystique away from the opposite sex is a good thing. Of course by twelve, most boys and girls have morphed into hormonal zombies, so that slack-jawed amazement with boys and girls isn't going to go away, at least for a while. What level of involvement is appropriate at what age though? My approach, for now goes like this. If Weston wants to have a girlfriend I'm not going to put the kibosh on it. But until he's a little older, I'd prefer that he admire from afar (although an occasional giggly phone call would be nice).


Julia said...

Ok, so have you not heard that about 100 years ago girls were married off at 12 and 13 and they produced several strapping heirs by the time they were 17 or 18. Really, historically speaking it is only in the past 100 years that one did not have children until they were in their 20s and 30s. Come on now Robin, what are you thinking! Fashion is cyclical and so is the age in which it is appropriate to have kids. Dont worry, when Wyatt brings his 12 year old girlfriend home I will be sure to ask when I am getting my first grandchild.

I For One..... said...

True that. But that was before HIV, AIDS, Herpes, and all those other fun STDs ran rampant. Also, back then a 17 or 18-yr old could probably support themselves and a family. A career flipping patties at In-N-Out so they can make their child-support payments probably isn't what most horny kids have on their mind. That would make a good reality show. Something along the lines of scaring kids into putting their sex organs on ice for a few years by making them take care of two or three kids for a week. The prize would be a college scholarship!