youthguy asks:

Should a 4th grader (or 9 yr. old) be allowed to have a boyfriend or girlfriend? Meet at movie theater and so forth?

I know of a mother who is allowing her 9 year old daughter to begin to "date" other 9 year old boys. Has already cause problems with exes and present boyfriend. What do you tell this mother other than she is an "idiot" for allowing this to happen and even encouraging the matter.

Is this becoming the norm among parents in our culture to allow children to grow up much faster than they should? They are already face with so much as it is.
In Topics: Parenting / Our Family, Friendships and peer relationships, Communicating with my child (The tough talks)
> 60 days ago



May 7, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk,

As a psychologist, I believe that elementary aged children are just that - children.   Developmentally they are not ready for relationships that involve "dating" and in my opinion should be given opportunities with peers that are adult supervised.

Thank you for writing.

Louise Masin Sattler, NCSP
Nationally Certified School Psychologist
Owner of Signing Families

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