I would love some advice from seasoned moms as this is our first exposure to this kind of stuff. For Thanksgiving we have 6 out of town guests in our home, 3 are children and one girl cousin is the same age as our daughter. They are both only 6 years old and yet this cousin talks constantly about boys, dating and kissing. I am shell shocked she would know anything about this stuff, but all her play is centered around this. For instance, this morning she was play talking on a phone about how a boy was calling her over and over and what did he want and other silliness. Then out in the yard around lunch she was pretending a toy was a dog and “he” kept asking all the other toys and children if they wanted to date and once decided on a mate, proceeded to talk about how it wouldn’t kiss her. We have a strong commitment to teach purity and courting to our daughters, so this is totally the opposite of that and seeing as this is coming so early at age 6, I am not sure what to do. Perhaps that is normal in public school (and if so Praise God for homeschooling even more!) but we haven’t even broached this subject with our children. Is it silliness and I just let it pass (my gut tells me not to do that)? Do I speak to my daughter now or just wait the l.o.n.g…4 days til they leave? How do I discuss it without sounding like I am ganging up on the cousin/her family? I know this is kind of good in a way to see this now in my own house instead of it happening when I may not be around if they were older and because I know we will eventually have to face this kind of stuff being in the world eventually…but at 6? Jeez.. I would be so so appreciative of any wisdom you can share!
I am so sorry you are faced with this at such a young age of 6. I am not much of a “seasoned” mom, but I want to let you know that I will pray for you to do the right thing – follow God’s leading for your precious little one on this. I would probably have a gentle, private talk now with dd. Use Scripture where you can. Could you be involved a little more to direct their play, etc. a little more? I hope someone else more experienced chimes in soon.
In my own personal experience, I remember when I was about 4 or 5 years old and my cousin who is a grade older than me went to ps to K or 1st grade and was talking about having a boyfriend and kissing, etc. This was over 25 years ago! But I remember asking my mother about it and she explained some things to me, not sure her exact words, but that it was wrong and that I could not date until I was older.
I think this is common (unfortunately) in PS, although some girls are really into it, others are a little (more innocently) and some are not into it at all.
I have a similar but different problem when my grandson is here (now once a week) – he is all about destruction… So is into games based on war, monsters, etc… will make a Lego gun and shoot at people (or a stick, etc)… Into transformers etc… how he wants to play i setting up lego things and throwing stuff at them or picking them up and droping them etc. On rememberance day we went to a ceremony / parade, then visited the regimental museum… and he was pulling the triggers on the rifles etc mounted on the wall and was disappointed the rifle didn’t fire…
Anyway – I think for the young girls and talking about boys, boys, boys, I think Sarah is with the right idea. Trying to do what you can (with limited time) to direct their play. Possibly, depending on your comfort level, telling the cousin privately that you would rather she didn’t play like that and be talking about boys all the time…. after all, if she doesn’t know it bothers you…….. I would also have a private little talk with your daughter explaining that some girls talk and play like that because they think it makes them sound grown-up (because honestly… 6 year old girls aren’t REALLY interested in boys in that way unless they think they are supposed to be….) but that it really is silly and makes them look like LITTLE girls. – of course, what exactly you say at this point may depend on the discression of your daughter… it might be best to just ask her to not participate in that type of play or talk right now, and that you’ll talk to her later in the week about it more….
I deal with similar issues (both the girl and the boy) because I run a dayhome and thus have other children in my home a lot. I deal with inappropriate play or language by simply informing the children that we don’t do those things in our home.
For the boys playing aggressively, I’d explain “We play friendly games in our house.” I then help the child find something appropriate to do, giving them lots of examples of acceptable activities. If they cannot play friendly, they will have to chose something to do away from the other children. (Read a book on the couch, help me in the kitchen, etc.)
For the girl, I’d ‘remind’ her (in a very loving, happy, almost teasing voice) that dating and kissing are for grownups, not for little girls, and that we don’t play that way here. Again, give lots of other options, but if she cannot play appropriately, she can spend time away from the others. No way am I going to subject my kids to that.
It will be more challenging with the cousin’s parents around, but if I thought they might have a problem with me disciplining their child, I would probably matter of factly just let them know what I was going to do ahead of time. I’m not one who pulls many punches. My home, my rules.
Then, for my own kids, we use words like “Silly” a lot. I’d have a talk about the inappropriate play being silly, teasing a bit that the other child needs help to remember how to have fun doing kid things, not grownup things. Something like: “Who would want to worry about those things when you can play and be a kid? That’s so silly! Let’s show them how WE have fun!” I don’t think I’d go into detail with my kids about those things being wrong – then they start to wonder why and spend more time thinking about the behaviour than they otherwise would. As soon as something is ‘silly,’ it’s no longer appealing and my kids just move on. Sometimes my 6yo DD will mention it later, but always just confirming “She was so silly, wasn’t she, Mom?” I agree and then drop it.
I say in kind of a sing song, trying not to be the monster aunt, “let’s find something else to play, no boy talk here girls!” Then in private talking to my dd in a really casual, quick way that we don’t play “boyfriend” b/c our family doesn’t think it is appropriate for six year olds to play. Trying my very best not to give the impression of passing judgement on the other family. “Every family makes their own rules and this is what mom and dad think is best for our family.” That way if the parents hear or if their daughter tells them later, you know you were not being judgemental and can explain it that way to them. I know this is a hard thing, it comes up in our family all the time so my goal is to teach my girls right from wrong along with not judging, which is tricky!
I would simply say ” We don’t play that way here _. Let’s find something else to play, ok girls.”
Thank you all for your advice! I wish I was quicker on my feet with these kinds of answers but maybe with experience I will be.
This is funny because we just left our relatives a few weeks back and I had to think twice about the girls. Same age. same senerio. My daughter does talk about boys and this could be a conversation they had. :) my kids however were not in school so it could be way worse then the talk of the girls who are all homeschooled. They did however talk about the same sort of stuff. Even if we both homeschool and have the same beleifs of saving ourself for our husbands.
Still, both families share similar beliefs on purity and not dating. I think it is just a natural thing for girls to talk about . I mean we use to play with dolls. We use to play house. Sometimes when we play these things it’s because we want to do them when we grow up. We are just grown-ups that get to play house like a child. However, our houses are now real and our babies too. They see this and want it in their lives. Yes, because of school the poor thing has been pushed into wanting to fulfill this need. she is stuffed in a room full of boys all day without any modeling except by her peers who role model older siblings that date. Their lives are totally different. I think what I would do is play dolls with them. :) Role play courtship. How someone is suppose to act. Maybe that they saw someone at the church picnic and that they are older. How they are to wait for G-d to provide their partener and how exciting to see who it might be… Maybe play another senerio about a boy asking to court a mans daughter. How they go about that. Another chapter could be about wanting to kiss the boy but waiting until they are married because a kiss is special on their wedding day. Maybe give them a wedding day if they are already talking about it. How do they wait for the boy they may want. How they are suppose to act if someone is interested in them. Give the dolls older brothers to protect her from unsuitable suitors. What kind of person you don’t want to date. How to be nice to an undesireable suitor without being mean… Oh the chapters could go on in this doll house! :) I hope this helps you to peace. I hope you have plenty of time to sit down and play house. Blessing to you…. I
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