Too much, Too Soon?

We probably all remember our first crushes, our first kisses. Mine was in the 6th grade. I remember it being so awkward, that I didn’t care if I ever did it again. Actually, I don’t think I did do that again until I was a freshman in high school. I also was very awkwardly skinny, had braces and not confident at all, so the boys certainly weren’t flocking to me!

My son, on the other hand is pretty popular with everyone, and the girls have already taken a liking to him. It used to be “you’re my boyfriend, you’re my girlfriend and we might wave to each other on the play ground” type thing. Ah, not so much anymore. Now, they’re all very close to being 11, if not already. It went from very innocent and cute, to almost inappropriate. I don’t want to say too much, because I don’t want to invade my own sons privacy. He had this “girlfriend” and it all seemed fine and dandy until he didn’t text her back right away one day. She kinda freaked out on him. She blows up his phone, to the point where he got it taken away. I read all of his text messages, and I didn’t like a lot of the things she was saying. I told him that in my opinion he didn’t need to be “going out” with this girl anymore. He took my advice, and broke up with her. I know not all girls at this age are like this, but it did get Joy and I thinking about why some kids/adults are like this. Some are very carefree, and don’t care if you go days without speaking. And some, well they freak out if you go 5 minutes without texting back. Yeah, not okay! Is it a learned behavior, is it just a part of their personality? I know some adults that can’t even go a few hours without some kind of communication from their boyfriend, husband, etc.

The obsessiveness, the clinging. Where does it all begin? From seeing it, experiences, or is just who you are? Do you think technology these days, with all the texting and social networks, that it’s made this worse, and at an earlier age?

Now, I know my son is almost 11 and he will have more girlfriends, and it will be serious some day. That day can wait! But I’m not blind to the real world, I can’t lock him up and throw away the key, as much as I selfishly would love to do that. He’s making good decisions thus far, and I can only hope that continues.

BTW, the picture is of Bailey and his preschool crush…when it was just cute!

This entry was posted in behavior, childhood, children, choices, embarrassed, feelings, girls, growing up, inappropriate, needy, obsessive, opinions, personality, relationships, romance, young love and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Too much, Too Soon?

  1. LifeKnots says:

    Thanks for the post. My son is ten so I can totally relate. Glad to know I’m not the only mom.

  2. SKL says:

    That’s really a good question. My gut tells me that it’s some in-born insecurity. I don’t know how you’d learn that kind of thing. And I think it existed before modern times. (Though texting probably fuels the addiction big-time.)

    The whole “if you love something, let it go” concept is completely lost on some people – including a couple of people in my life. Sad thing is, they can’t understand that all their efforts to draw someone closer are only pushing them away.

    My kids already get up set if so-and-so didn’t “be their friend” today or whatever. I tell them it’s OK if someone doesn’t want to play with them all the time, and sometimes they should just ignore them and find some other fun thing to do. Not sure if my talking can or will make any difference in the long run.

  3. Laura says:

    I wonder if the obsessive behavior is an offshoot of the constant push for our kids to like everybody, and be everybody’s friend. It seems like kids are not allowed to *not* like someone, anymore, because our society is so afraid of bullying. At least that’s my theory.

    I constantly find myself telling Josh that it’s ok for him to not be friends with kids who are mean to him. That it’s ok for him to *not* like them. It’s not ok for him to be rude, but he doesn’t have to hang out with/be best buddies with someone who is a jerk.

    But it seems like adults are always telling kids that they have to like everyone. So wouldn’t that translate to, “everybody should like me”, in return? I don’t know. maybe I’m just barking.

    Also, with girls, it seems like they are so high-maintenance now. I know a couple who insist that they are not, but if they don’t hear back from boyfriends, constantly, they’re obsessing over “does he like me, doesn’t he like me?” Maybe I’m just weird, but I always figured that if a guy didn’t call me today, it meant that he was busy, and he’d call me tomorrow. And he usually did. And I didn’t die from not hearing from him for that 24 hours.

    • Nikki says:

      HA!!! I have a 40 yr old sister that obsesses over people. Even me, if I don’t get back to her right away I must be mad at her. Granted, she’s a little off her rocker (nothing I haven’t said to her!) but really?? It is too much, it’s suffocating.

      What got me the most was this 11 year old girl telling my 10 year old son that she loved him. Now, as parents Jason and I try to let Bailey make his best decision and then let him reap the rewards, or deal with the consequences. He’s never given a reason to ever mistrust him, and until then we do trust, with eyes wide open of course!

      We have one kid on our baseball team that is kind of a “one friend at a time” kid. Bailey ended up spending an evening with him, and another kid on the team and this kid really made Bailey feel left out. He catered to his one friend and forgot about Bailey. Jason talked to the parents and it was resolved, but we just told Bailey some kids are like that and you may find that you just won’t be great friends with that one kid, no big deal. But Bailey is the type of kid that wants to be friends with everyone, so we’ll see.

      I don’t remember any of my girlfriends being like this with boys, or even me. Not until junior high at least. It’s boggles my brain!

    • Joy says:

      One of my best friends is like that. She’s constantly got to be calling. He’s her ex husband now but I can remember when they were married, he’d go hunting or fishing and she’d call him on the hour. “What are you doing? Who are you with?” She actually got mad at him one day because he was trying to answer HER call while ice fishing and dropped his phone down the hole!! It was hilarious to me. We could see it at the bottom of the lake with our camera!! LOL!!! He never did think it was very funny and she always got mad all over again!!

      I asked her once why she just couldn’t let him be and she didn’t know. I asked her what she thought he was out doing and she always acted so insecure. She was so hung up on him being with someone else even though she knew he wasn’t but it fed her jealousy and then she just had to talk to him. I honestly felt bad for him because she just couldn’t stop it. When I think of that memory it really takes me back to another time.

      I have never called and never pestered. If I did that to Paul he’d turn off his phone or not have one at all. People like this are so much not like us.

  4. Hmm. I think that it might be a mixture. I feel like so much of what we learn about relationships at a young age comes from film/television/popular culture and also, of course, from our parents – so while this girl might be insecure, she might also think that she’s supposed to be creating drama, that that’s how relationships are supposed to go.

  5. Joy says:

    This seems to be happening so soon. I did get my first kiss in 5th grade but it was more like a test. Trying it out kind of thing. I wasn’t “in love” with the boy or anything and then I didn’t kiss anyone again for a couple years. I liken it to an experiment.

    This just isn’t girls. I’ve known a couple of men in my life like this and it can really wreck havoc. I have a cousin who’s husband used to keep her up all night fighting because “she didn’t care about his *feelings*” and then she had to get up and go to work the next day and he’d call in sick and nap and as soon as she got home from work it was constant “who did you see, what did you eat for lunch, who did you talk to” and it started all over again. It was pathetic.

    Without giving away any of Trinity’s privacy, she’s also just experienced an overly insecure boy and thank goodness she talks to us. I’m so thankful that all of us are so open with each other. All I really said to her was we didn’t want someone else telling us how to act and what to do and I left it at that.

    • Nikki says:

      You are right, it’s not just girls. We have a friend who was SO bad that he literally would sit at the gas station on his bike across the highway from his girlfriends work. He got her fired from so many jobs. If he saw her talking to another coworker or customer, she’d get it when she got off work. And not only that, but he’d start fights with her coworkers if they were men, just so they knew not to talk to her. It’s sick.

      We are very lucky that these kids do talk to us. I hope it stays that way!

    • Joy says:

      I think my secret to getting them to open up is I never judge or tell them what to do. Once Trinity saw I was listening, she kept going. But I’m very nosy and I do ask questions!!!!! Everyone needs a shoulder and if you don’t overreact, they’ll keep coming to you.

      • Nikki says:

        Oh, I always ask questions too and the one thing I have learned with Bailey is once he feels teased, he’ll stop talking. That’s the one thing I have to say Jason needs to work on the most.

  6. mssc54 says:

    I am going to comment without reading any of the other comments.

    We are a bit old fashioned (go figure). We never have played the “going out” or “boyfriend/girlfriend” thing. Never have.

    We believe that words have meaning. I don’t want to have to untangle something when our children get old enough to begin having serious relationships. We talked to our older daughters as they were growing up about relationships, etc. We encouraged them to not date anyone that they wouldn’t think of marrying. It may seem a bit odd to most but it worked for us. That is not to say that either of them married the first guy they dated. But none of them dated more than two different guys through highschool. Our oldest two (31 & 27) married the second guy they dated. Our 23 year old daughter is dating her second guy now. They have been together since highschool and talk of marriage when college is finished. I’m waiting to see a ring!

    I know that most people think that it is cute when toddlers have a cousin or baby sitter or some older kid that says they are boyfriend or girlfirend. The way I look at it is, why would you (basically) train a child to joke aroud about relationships and then expect that they will be able to take them seriously when they are older? That seed of “not serious” is in their mind somewhere.

    • SKL says:

      I too am uncomfortable with the idea of “teasing” little kids, but people around us do it with my girls all the time. Those thoughts will come soon enough, thank you! Miss E in particular loves to have her dollhouse dolls get married, etc., and she’s said she’s going to marry this or that classmate. I just say “oh” and don’t make a big deal out of it one way or the other. But when she says she wants to marry, e.g., her uncle, I say that’s not allowed, or in the case of an 18yo crush, I point out that he’s way older than she and will probably be married before she finishes high school. I just don’t feel right pushing silly ideas – especially considering how much I’m going to want to resist those ideas about 10 years from now.

      • mssc54 says:

        Little girls playing like their dolls are getting married is much different than adults convinceing them that they have a boyfriend or girlfriend.

        Children can act out healthy scenarios or unhealthy scenarios. It’s up to the parents to determing which is which and kindly inform others a couple of times. After that “explaining” the parental view can (or should) be more… hmmm, thoughtfully explained (with volume if necessary). 🙂

    • Joy says:

      You mean you never traded “love notes” in school or did any of those fun things kids do? Dream of holding someone’s hand or getting excited for a dance? Get together with all your guy friends and talk about the “girls?” That’s almost a little sad. I don’t see anything wrong with that. It’s all a part of life. I guess I’m not sure what part of that you don’t like. Dating and getting married aren’t the same thing. Or, are you talking about sex? Because sex and dating don’t go hand in hand for many many years to come. Do you feel you only dated to get a mate?

      • Nikki says:

        I wasn’t sure how to respond, but you said what I couldn’t put into words.

        I feel that kids need to experience certain things, to learn for themselves what is healthy and what’s not. I think you end up learning a lot about yourself in the whole process of dating, and finding new relationships.

        • mssc54 says:

          Nikki, “practicing” relationships is one way. However, I believe that learning how, why, what for and THEN acting is a better approach.

          If you keep testing for your drivers license before you have studied, know why, how and when you are supposed to perform certian things you might kill yourself or someone else.

          • Nikki says:

            I’m in no way telling or encouraging my son to “practice.” No one knows him better than me, and I know without a doubt that he will be and is a gentleman. I don’t allow him to have a new girlfriend every week. I know when to put my foot down, and when to let up.

            Your way of raising your kids, is great for you. If it works, it works!

      • mssc54 says:

        No never, ever traded love notes. Didn’t get together with my guy friends and talk about girls. When I was 13 my dad told me I should “get every girl you can” so that was pretty much my focus. But I wasn’t “successful” until I was almost 17.

        I had a screwed up view of relationships. I learned that relationships were for sex. Period.

        I don’t like the part about telling toddlers and older children that so and so is their boyfriend or girlfriend. They have no concept of what that means and too begin training them that having multiple relationships for training purposes is more unhealthy than not.

        • Joy says:

          So in other words, relationships are only for sex? I have hundreds of relationships with people and I never have sex with any of them.

        • Joy says:

          The more I think about this the more I don’t agree with you. We have people in our lives to share things with. Friends whether they be male or female and whatever name you call them, are just that. People along the way we share our lives with. I kind of feel bad you don’t have any of those memories and that your dad thought so little of women that he would tell you that. I’ve heard of other dad’s doing that too. It’s a disgusting thing to teach a child and it robbed you of a lot of innocent friend-making and memories.

          • mssc54 says:

            Yeh, I can remember that night like it was last night. Me sitting on my single bed looking up at my dad…

            Gosh if not having those sort of friendships as a child were the worst thing in my childhood…

            However, the good news is that I was SO screwed up (no pun intended) that I intentionally determined to raise our own children differently. So far so good. 😉

  7. Joy says:

    I agree with you to some extent but we’re in all kinds of relationships and we have all different kinds of friendships. I remember how much I loved my dad and I’d tell him I was going to marry him when I grew up and he always said he’d wait for me. It wasn’t meant serious just like I knew what was real and what was make believe when I got old enough to know better.

    I also personally also feel the more relationships you have, the better you get at them. It’s like getting your drivers license and going on the freeway the same day. You have to get there a little more slowly. If a person is lucky enough to marry the first or second person they dated or “fell in love with” that’s a very lucky thing. That just doesn’t happen very often. I’m not talking about sex either. I had dozens of boyfriends before I was anywhere near ready for sex. Relationships and friendships are often times very innocent.

    • SKL says:

      Joy, when you were little, you didn’t have the TV teaching you that you should be getting intimate with boys before age 10. Innocence was allowed to remain innocent a lot longer. Now I feel like kids will almost feel pressured to go to the next base or two long before they would have felt ready when you or I were young. We know kids are having consensual sex as young as 9. The TV implies that there are no virgins older than 13. That fuels my fears for sure.

      And although I don’t agree with MSSC 100%, I must say I never did any of those “cute” things in school like pass notes, try out a first kiss, hold hands, or chat with my girlfriends about the boys. I didn’t date until I was in college (and then only because I felt like I had to). It could have been because I had been molested more than once by age 12 and the thought of male-female relationships was not what it otherwise might have been.

  8. Laura says:

    Josh has had a “girlfriend”. She’s a sweet little thing, and they were more best friends than anything. Josh talked about her nonstop, and I really do think they had a bit of a crush on one another. This lasted all through Josh’s kindergarten year, and the summer, and it was finally broken up early this year by other kids who turned it into something ugly with their “boyfriend/girlfriend” nonsense.

    Josh came to me one day and asked what it meant to “make out”, and then informed me that L wasn’t really his “girlfriend” because they hadn’t made out. So we had to have a discussion (complete with his little-boy screwed-up nose) about what “making out” is, and how L was really more of a “best friend” or a “special friend” as opposed to a “girlfriend” – but if he wanted to call her that, it was ok, because she is a girl, and she is his friend, and she is special to him – moreso than the other girls in the school. It was all very complicated, but he understood.

    I agree with SKL that our kids are being sexualized WAY too early. I keep Josh away from most TV for just that reason. I don’t delude myself that he’s going to avoid it forever, or that he won’t see it at friend’s houses, but I also don’t give him a steady diet of it.

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