My son, Jaden, and his best friend, Ayanna, have been friends since they were 5 years old, and now they’re both 10. A few weeks ago, Jaden came home from school and told me that he caught Ayanna kissing another classmate. All I could think to myself was, “Oh boy, here we go”. A 10 year old 5th grader kissing? What is the world coming to? But then again, I guess I shouldn’t be so shocked. Kids nowadays are a lot more aggressive then say 20 years ago.
My mother ruled her house with an iron fist when I was growing up. We dared not to mention anything about liking boys or wanting to go out on dates. I truly don’t think I missed out on much living under her rules. I didn’t have a first date until the summer before my freshman year in college and I was already 18 years old. I guess you can say because of my mother’s strict rules, I was raised a bit sheltered. I always told myself I would try to let my child have the freedom I didn’t have, but it’s getting harder to do that every day. I don’t want to keep him under lock & key, but I don’t want to have him grow up any faster than he needs to.
Occasionally, when I have my son and his friend, Ayanna, out at the movies, they’ll joke around and say that they’re on a ‘date’. I usually try to quiet them down so people around us won’t look at me like I’m crazy, when they mention their ‘date’. Up until the other day, before hearing about Ayanna’s kissing incident, I was OK with the two of them hanging out and even having her spend the night at my house. What a difference a kiss & a few weeks make. I’m not sure if I’m going to limit their activities, but I did explain to my son that I felt it was unacceptable for kids, as he calls it, to ‘lock-lips’.
If I had my way, my son would have his first real date, sometime around 20 years old, but I know that’s not reality. Realistically speaking, I would let him start dating during his freshman year of high school. I think by that time, teens will have reached the rebellious stage, and will more than likely sneak around when you tell them they’re not allowed to do something. Instead of having a teen that is sneaking around behind my back, I’d rather enable him and encourage an open and honest parent/teen relationship. I’m hoping by the time he’s in high school, I will have taught him well enough where he’s respectful to the person he chooses to ‘date’.
It’s funny, my son has these ideas in his head that by the time he goes on his first real date, he will have saved up all of his money he’s been receiving over the years and his first date will happen at Disney World. I cherish the innocence that he still has and can only hope Ayanna doesn’t try to kiss him before his teen years.