Is this a date or a “play-date?”

Okay now, I love Love LOVE Mark Wahlberg. I have for YEARS. I find him absolutely darling. In the last few days I’ve seen him taking a little bit of heat and at first the headlines all scared me because God help me……..I don’t want to read anything bad about him or want to hear he’s a bad parent or person or anything.

I saw this on a few blogs and did think WTH!?!?! It’s on right at the 1:00 mark.

Okay first of all. I don’t even remotely consider that a date by any stretch of the imagination. I remember when I was in 5th grade, a boy asked me to go to a movie with him. Bullitt with Steve McQueen. My dad told me the only way I could go to a movie with a boy in 5th grade was if he was dead! “Over my dead body” would be how he put it exactly. When you’re 16 he said, you can go out alone with a boy and not a minute sooner.

But I also had “boy friends” when I was way too young to even know what a date is and I think this is what Mark Wahlberg did. They were just two little kids watching a movie together in a theater with both their dads. I know with my boys as well as all 3 grandchildren that yes, in the under 8 or so age range, they aren’t “dates.” They are “play-dates.” Mind you, when my kids were growing up there were no such things as “play-dates.” Kids just got together and played. We didn’t feel the need to have “names” for everything back then. Sometimes I find some of this stuff tiring.

What about you? Do you think what these two did was go out on a date? Why is he getting blasted? How old were you when you were allowed to go on a “real” date? Do you let your kids “play” with the opposite sex and what age do you have in mind for when your kids can go out alone with the opposite sex?

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8 Responses to Is this a date or a “play-date?”

  1. Jenny says:

    I think it was just a play date. They didn’t even sit by each other or talk at all. To me, I think at that age its fine to be playing with the opposite gender still. Who knows, maybe that little boy went and told all his friends he was taking a girl on a “date.” lol… kids are growing up so fast these days.

  2. SKL says:

    I think I read that they were 7. (Sorry, still can’t hear the video.) So this was just a couple of little kids doing something fun together. I think around age 9, kids start to see same-sex and opposite friends differently in “that way.” It’s still too early for “romance” and “dates,” of course. But at 7? The only way there could be anything more than just gender-neutral fun (or gender-specific pretend play) would be if one or both kids had been coached or sexually abused or something.

    I agree, the idea of “play dates” makes me tired. I think it’s just a function of smaller families and the exaggerated fear of neighborhood “dangers.” But the idea that boy/girl encounters at age 7 are “dates” is just ridiculous. Maybe some folks said it as a joke and someone with no sense of humor picked up on it.

  3. Laura says:

    Josh asked me this morning what it means to “make out”. I told him it’s what Han and Leia were doing on the Millennium Falcon, and he screwed up his nose BIG TIME. I asked him why he wanted to know, and he said that in order for K to be his girlfriend, they have to ‘make out’. They’ve already been dating, on the playground, you see.

    pray for me.

    On one hand, K’s mom and I think it’s hilarious (and L’s mom before K. I’m telling you. pray for me) because we know our kids are just playing – they hold hands on the playground. This week, K’s “Josh’s Girlfriend”, and next week, it’ll be L again. But there are two boys, W and C, who are the “experts”, who make up all the rules on dating, and one of them is that you have to make out. I’m really hoping that the picture of Han and Leia is fused in Josh’s brain, and will, for the next ten years or so, gross him out enough that he doesn’t want to think about Dating.

    Oh, and “playdates” for you City Folk drive me nuts, especially for the ones who have a bunch of kids on the block. Just go out and play, for Heaven’s sake. But out here in the sticks, you have to make playdates because there are cars involved. The name still irritates me, though.

    • SKL says:

      Ha ha! Be happy Josh is one of the older kids in the class. At least he wasn’t getting exposed to this stuff a year younger.

      My kids bring home all manner of things from school, and they aren’t even in pre-K. The “I want to kiss you on the lips” made me wonder what they are playing at school. But it’s no more uncomfortable than their saying “I’m smoking” (a carrot stick) or “other moms let their kids chew gum / color their nails.” Knowing my kids, I only wonder what they’re saying that the other parents are horrified at.

      I remember when I was 7 and I really, really loved my 2nd grade teacher, Mr. Osborne. He was just the nicest, most understanding, warm guy. Every time I mentioned this, my family teased me about being “in love” with him. Of course they were just joking, but this really embarrassed me. I learned that even that young, I had to be guarded about what I said about the opposite gender. I turned out to be a late bloomer in the dating department. Was it due to the self-consciousness I picked up early on? Hmm, coulda been a factor.

  4. Nikki says:

    We never had a “name” for it either. It was just a playing. One of Bailey’s closest friends, since preschool is a girl. She lives up the road from us. I’ve known her mom since before the kids were even thought of, I worked with her at a small department store downtown here when I was like 18. Bailey goes to her house quite often, to “hang out.” He went sledding and could bring any friend he wanted, he chose her. There’s nothing wrong with it. Kids are kids, that’s all they want to be. They’ll probably, hopefully, be friends forever and nothing else. However I did warn him girls “change” when they hit the preteen age, so we’ll see.

    I actually never went on a “date” until I met Jason. I didn’t have a traditional up bringing, can’t date until your 16 thing, I was practically on my own by that age. Dating wasn’t a thought, I just hung out with friends, had boyfriends but none took me on dates. Kinda messed up now that I think about that. When I was real young, it was just playing, nothing else. It wasn’t a big deal.

  5. Sue says:

    Why can’t kids be kids?! My kindergartener asked me the other night something about marriage (and of course I can’t remember what it was now!) but it made me ask him who he was going to marry and he said (with an embarrassed grin) “E” which is the daughter of a very good friend of mine who’s had these 2 married since they were babies! I said really and he said yup because she’s my friend and I like her. Well alrighty Mr 6 yr old that’s got it figured out! It’s all innocent at this point and I wouldn’t think twice about those 2 playing together. My daughter has had the same boy like her since kindergarten as well and if you ask her if he’s her boyfriend she gets embarrassed, but says IDK! Her grade seems more buddy buddy than lets be boy/girl friends, but I’m sure that will change fast.

    I remember my first ‘real’ date, but I can’t remember how old I was. 15? My first ‘boyfriend’ was in 5th grade but all that consisted of was giggling at each other in school! LOL! If it were up to Toby, Trinity would never date! I would say sometime in high school they can go on dates, but the longer the wait the better!

  6. Phyllis says:

    There is no way this was a date! Why is it necessary to make kids feel like they should only have friends of the same gender unless they’re boyfriend/girlfriend? Ridiculous! I grew up with friends that were boy and girls. My daughter did as well. As have both my grandkids. Playing together is just that, playing together. It enables us to learn and appreciate the mental differences (and there are LOT of differences there), different outlooks, etc. It enables the youth to begin to appreciate and respect each other as friends. There’s also nothing wrong with “hanging out” with a group of friends to do movies, snacks afterward, etc. Serious dating should be reserved til mid high school, if then. It should depend upon the maturity of the young folks, and entirely up to the parents! For heaven’s sake, don’t push the kids to grow up !

    As for the term “play date”? I truly dispise that phrase! If kids get together, they get together. Why is everything arranged? What’s wrong with walking to the park to play baseball, etc? What’s wrong with hanging out in each other’s yards? This has to be a ‘date”? There’s something seriously wrong with our current world!

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