Saturday, February 23, 2008

13 Year Olds with Boyfriends

The article you're looking for has been moved here.

Help settle a little discussion we're having around here.

Short poll -

Is it appropriate for a 13 year old girl to have a boyfriend?

You can just say yes or no.... or more commentary if you wish.


50 comments:

sogratefultobemormon.wordpress.com said...

no no no no no no and no

Tonya said...

No but then I have no real experience with a 13 year old other than being one so what do I know?

The Wiz said...

Depends on the definition of "boyfriend."

Is it appropriate to flirt a little and learn how to interact with boys and like one in particular? Yes.

Is it appropriate to pair off and smooch lots and stuff? No.

Melissa said...

I had the same thoughts as Wiz... flirting, teasing, liking one boy, that's okay. Pairing off - nope.

JustRandi said...

Hmmm.
I'm talking about the kind where everyone knows that he is your boyfriend and you are his girlfriend, and you sit together when you are at any sort of function.

But you swear by all that is holy that while there is some flirting going on, there is currently no physical contact except the occasional hug good-bye.

That kind of boyfriend.

Yvonne said...

Well, I don't think there's much a person can do about them liking a guy at 13. Then when they are 14 and start going to dances they will dance together, but I would be against any one on one time.

Kimberly said...

Oi, by that last definition that really is rather tricky, isn't it? I don't think I'd want that kind of boyfriend at that age...I mean, only being able to flirt and visit...for THREE YEARS?! That'd be torture, wouldn't it? Hmm...very tricky indeed. And yes, I'm officially no help whatsoever. But then I'm a gal who didn't get asked on her first date till she was 21, so there you go. =P

Anonymous said...

A quick search of "boyfriend" on lds.org found a questionaire entitled: “I’m 14, and I know we aren’t supposed to date until we’re 16. But a lot of friends my age at school have a girlfriend or boyfriend, even though they don’t really date. Is anything wrong with this?"

Boyd K. Packer's response is that "Some teens pair off but say they’re not dating. Having a boyfriend or girlfriend, however, is dating, and it can create several problems."

It lists several problems with dating, and even says that one should not even pair off until looking to be married. President Packer clarifies the For Strength of Youth pamphlet, saying that having a boyfriend or girlfriend is certainly against the standards of dating.

Unless she's planning on being married soon, I would say probably not ok.

Tori :) said...

Well, I was GOING to say that by your definition of "boyfriend" here in your comments that NO it's not a big deal.
But after anonymous' comment I feel like a sinner. I'm sorry when I read BKP response I thought "Yeah, good luck with that!" I AM a sinner. So...

Good luck.

Janell said...

Boys that are friends. Yes.

Someone you flirt a little with. Sure.

Any form of pairing? No.

Emily! said...

Hey! So i took a poll among my most fabulous room mates and they all seem to agree. That at the wonderful age of 13 you are still discovering all the amazing things you can do, and talents that you can develop. If you rely too closely on one person to tell you who you are and what you do then you are not able to become the best you can be! Collectively we [my room mates and I] feel like now is the time to be finding out all your friends, the ones you can trust with anything, the fun ones, the mean ones (jk!) you are still finding out things about yourself and others. So basically the thought is good friends YES! Go for it, but boy/girlfriend, hold off for a little while longer!
You get really tied down, and you can't do everything you may want to because they want you whole attention, don't give your life up when your so young! Be a kid! Have fun!

kristen said...

My first instinct was 'No', and thinking what the Brethren would have to say about it. I'm glad anonymous found that quote.

Really, kids should not be thinking about this stuff so early. There is such wisdom in double dating when 16 and not pairing off until 18, or even later.

Becky said...

I'd have to agree with "no." It's okay to have a boy that's a friend, and I think a little harmless crush and some flirting are okay, and it's okay to sit together at functions when there are lots of people there.... but as far as being declared a "couple," I'm not sure that's a good thing. It's indicating to their social circles that they are committed to each other in some sense, and in my personal opinion, 13 is too early. :) I also must say that I think you and the Brain are great parents, and that you'll figure out what's best for your kids.

mindyluwho said...

I had a boyfriend when I was 15. We "went together" for a year and my world revolved around what he thought of me. Thank goodness he moved or who knows how long it would have gone on. I like what Emily said, "If you rely too closely on one person to tell you who you are and what you do then you are not able to become the best you can be!" In my case, having a boyfriend at such a young age was detrimental to my selfworth because my actions tended to be toward pleasing my boyfriend rather than being myself.

miggy said...

By your definition, yes it's OK.

I think if she were forced to "break-up" it would basically take the title away...they would most likely still have the same feelings they have, still sit by each other in class, and hug good bye. If she abides by the no pairing off thing, I think that's what is truly important.

BKP says, "Some teens PAIR OFF and say they're not dating..." she's not paring off...she's not doing anything one on one. To me there is a difference. Of course I'm not the one with a 13 year old daughter either. :)

Jenny said...

I say no. It is one thing however to say "no" it is a whole other thing to enforce it. Having said this I do think this is a battle I'd be willing to fight. The lines seem pretty clear to me.

I am so impressed that she is discussing it with you. It says a lot about your relationship with her. She is such a great teen--and beautiful I can see how this could be an issue. How about having her read the question and answer on lds.org herself? Then asking her what she thinks should happen. Sometimes when we don't "TELL" them what to do, and allow them to see the answer themselves it is easier for them to follow the guidelines. You also might want to touch on why this is. Maybe give some examples of some people you know who had undesirable results from dating at 13-14.

Ahh now I am rambling.... Let us know how it goes!

Tami Vincent said...

I would have to say no. I would have to agree with jenny. Have her read what the church says about it. Let her decide. I know that getting that close to someone so young could be very hard. I also remember liking boys at that age, what a big decision to make.

Baby J said...

Um, no. No boyfriends until you start dating but even then getting too serious is not good.

No Cool Story said...

No.

I encourage my kids to like other kids and to look for the things they like and it's ok to have a crush on someone. But that's it.

My wise Twin Tori said what I was going to say.

Sheyenne said...

One on one isn't good. I agree with whoever said that if you forbid it then you'd just be taking the title away. They like eachother, and there's not much you can do about that. If they see eachother in a group and aren't making special plans to be with eachother otherwise, then I think that's natural and pretty uncontrollable.

miggy said...

I'd like to further clarify my standpoint. Remember, I'm in the 'yes' camp.

I believe the church is trying to regulate ACTIONS. I believe what you're daughter is talking about are FEELINGS. Like Wiz said, I think it's not only OK to learn how to flirt and like one boy BUT it's important. I think her interactions she's having with this boy are the same interactions I could see one of the General Authorities having had with girls when they were that age...they just wouldn't have used the title.

I have more to say, but it's time for bed. :)

Paul said...

I'm trying to decide which answer is better: "NO!" Or, "HELL, NO!"

I look at everything like this from a risk-reward analysis. In this case, the risks obliterate the rewards - especially when you consider the rewards will still be waiting to be had just three years down the road.

16 years old will be a hard, fast rule in our house, and I'll do everything in my power to see that it's enforced.

Lippy said...

Tough situation. I had a girlfriend when I was in the 6th grade. Of course, I was a typical goofy boy, she was a silly girl and our "relationship" was a status symbol rather than an actual relationship.
I would say it's something to be based on individual cases. There are two kinds of 13 year olds: 13 going on 10 and 13 going on 30. It really matters what kinds of kids we're talking about.
I didn't kiss a girl until I was 16, and at 13 I was more interested in showing off for a girl rather than being with a girl, even though I "had a girlfriend."

So I would say to base that decision on the maturity level of the kids in question. If they're looking to "play" girlfriend and boyfriend, probably nothing to concern yourself over. If they're a lot more advanced than that, I'd say stick to the "no" rule.

Marilyn said...

Nope-it's not appropriate, but in the real world kids are always "going together." At least you know about it and they are not sneaking around. You can teach correct doctrine and pray lots and hopefully it will only last a week or two...at that age it usually does.

Two Princess Girls said...

I can imagine that regardless of the age it's going to be difficult to watch your daughter start to date. The thought of pairing off at even 16 makes me shudder!
I'm not sure what the right age is, I think it depends on the people involved and the situation.
I do think that your daughters strong character shows through when she is asking your permission. Good luck with your decision.

The MomBabe said...

ummm, good luck with that. Happy Fighting with whatever decision you make.

Crystal said...

Nope nope nope. No boyfriends that early. I really like the whole idea of don't date 'til you're sixteen, don't date anyone exclusively until you're at least eighteen, but I don't know that it would go over ok with a teenage girl.

Stacey said...

My ten year old had a girl express interest in him (5th grade). Okay can you tell we live in California. Their friends were urging them to go on a date. This wise young lady told Spence they should wait till they were older. Spence agreed and started talking about the 16 year old rule. I think having the dating rule in place protects these kids from having to deal with feelings and situation before they are ready. Something else to consider---what does it hurt to wait?

Stacey said...

My ten year old had a girl express interest in him (5th grade). Okay can you tell we live in California. Their friends were urging them to go on a date. This wise young lady told Spence they should wait till they were older. Spence agreed and started talking about the 16 year old rule. I think having the dating rule in place protects these kids from having to deal with feelings and situation before they are ready. Something else to consider---what does it hurt to wait?

TheDillon6 said...

nope. too young. too early. too scary a world we live in.

"Vern" said...

ix-nay on the ating-day at irteen-thay. Huh, commenting in piglatin. I think I just opened up a whole new world for myself.

East of Eden said...

I would say no. I would even say no to bf/gfs till the child is out of high school. The reason being, you are only a kid once, might as well experience as much as you can with as many people in your circle than pair off and be limited.

I think it's great your kids can talk to you about this stuff, because I would have never asked my parents these kinds of questions....I just assumed the answer would be no.

Nancy Face said...

I'm pretty much with Tori!

I allowed my daughter to have a "boyfriend" in 5th grade, which just meant they flirted back and forth, and sometimes walked home from school together. It lasted a couple weeks...then he dumped her for a girl with a big chest.

Shultzybabe said...

I'd say no. I was 13 once and didn't tell my mom everything... I always played down what we were doing. Boyfriend implies dating and that is at 16 y/o, right?

Jill said...

I would say no, however, I did like the suggestion of having her read the comment from BKP.
What about getting the boy's parents involved? Have them over for a chat. See where they stand on the subject. It would be good to have some ground rules from both sets of parents, whether or not they are "allowed" to be BF and GF.

Salt H2O said...

Not a chance.

The term 'going out' amoung jr.high kids is hilarious.

I asked my 15 year old girls what does it mean to 'go out' with someone.

It consists of texting that person and holding hands during lunch.

And maybe just maybe hanging out at the occasional school function with each other.

Mother of the Bride said...

No NO NO NO! Although the popular wisdomn is that these things only last a few weeks, often they go on for a lot longer. Or one boy leads to another, etc. etc. Holding hands, hugging, etc isn't a good idea at 13. Maybe you can tell her you hope she'll develop their friendship (and also friendships with other boys) but being exclusive will without a doubt, alienate her from her girlfriends, and in many cases, her family. However, don't come across overly strict, concerned or upset about this or she'll stop telling you what's really going on in her life. Been there, done that! Good luck!!

miggy said...

I know I've already commented twice, but here I go...

I whole heartedly agree with no dating until 16. I did not date until I was 16. What Randy's daughter is doing is not dating. Dating, includes, going out ON DATES. I just feel like people are talking about apples and oranges here...in the middle school world "going out" is not the same as actually going out on a date. I know it's confusing and maybe people still disagree with the idea of her having a boyfriend, but I just want to make sure we're actually addressing the same issue.

Annie said...

no, what's the point

but my friend lets her daughter have a boy over to watch movies or play games under her constant watch. If you have a really boy crazy girl, that might be one way to keep it in check for a few more months.

ganelle said...

I'm with miggy. This sounds like a natural developmental stage of "I like you, do you like me?" Isn't that all that's really happening? She is not dating, she has found a boy she likes who likes her back. I'd hold off on "dating" for sure, but is there something wrong with liking a boy who likes you back when you are 13? Maybe chat about losing the title "boyfriend", but the actual relationship sounds fine to me.
I also say congrats on having her be open with you about it!

momof3crazykids said...

When my son was 13 he was "going out" with a girl. Yeah they "went out" to school together:) They didn't go on dates, or hang out at each other's homes or anything. In the short couple of months the "going out" was happening there was a school dance, he paid for her $5 ticket since they were "going out" but they each got there by their own parents. I was a chaperone, I think they talked maybe a whole 5 minutes and I don't even think they danced together at all. They mostly hung out with their own friends. Usually at this age it's more of a thing you say, I have a boyfriend/girlfriend. Unless your letting them go to the movies or mall by themselves. I do know of a lady that let her 13 year old, wait she might have been 12, do that. Could you imagine?

Corrine said...

nope

sogratefultobemormon.wordpress.com said...

randi,

thank you for your emails about this to me.

stick to your gun, my dear!!

had some positives with my 17 y/o daughter last night. i know, i am shocked everytime, too.

i wrote one of your quotes in my post comment area today (either my latest post or one before it). it was something you said that stuck in my brain awhile back.

you rock, kathleen

sogratefultobemormon.wordpress.com said...

and one more time ...

no no no no no and no!

diana said...

what a great conversation you have going here. a lot of things to think about.

i occassionally post controversial issues. i think i might pose this same question to my readers - all 5 of them, jk =), if it's okay with you. i'd link back to this post and your other one where you explain why you've made the decision you have.

Anonymous said...

I say yes...
well i am 13 and i had a boyfriend earlier this year and we went to movies we when to each others houses. when people say we are too young like i am seeing in the comments well we know what we are doing. we are not stupid. i think a lot of people think that we don't know what we are doing that we would just do whatever our friends are doing. last year there were people saying they were going out but they only hung out at school they did nothing out of school. what i think a lot of the people that wrote on here think that 13 year olds are promiscuous. IT IS SO NOT TRUE!!!!

Anonymous said...

i SO agree with the last anonymous comment. I'm 13 too and i actually have a boyfriend right now. Alot of people in my grade have boyfriends and girlfriends..and its really not a big deal. Sure, making out and stuff isnt appropriate for our age, but theres no doubt that we'll hug and give eachother an occasional kiss, go to the movie, and hang out alot. I think its perfectley fine, as long as the kid knows the boundries, and when its time to stop.

Anonymous said...

YES!!!!! I'm 13 and all of the sluty girls have already made out with boys. About 3 of them aren't virgins! I don't have a boyfriend but I don't flirt either sooooo....But YESSSS 13 year olds can date if they want, they may be sluts or "in love" but they can still date.

Anonymous said...

Im 13 as well and I think its fine. We aren't stupid, we know what were doing. sure we don't "date" well not properly but we go and see the odd film or something. I agree with the comment that its not really fine making out, but shouldent we be the judge of that? We know what we feel ready for and what we don't. There is a lot of pressure on us to "look" pretty and how to act. People have boyfriends much younger as well, a priamary school friend of mine had a couple boyfriends in year/grade 5, she kissed them, but they diddnt go on actual dates. So i think its fine to date at our age, there is NOTHING hugely wrong with it. Loads of people my age have boyfriends and girlfriends, but as another comment says we know our boundrys.

JustRandi said...

Well, as we can see by these last comments, young teens definitely think they know about life. And that is the danger.
It is so easy to end up in over your head, and not even know you're there until it's too late.

My advice, girls? You have your whole life to worry about boys, but you only get to be 13 for a year. Have fun! Do wholesome activities with lots of boys. Learn about what kind of boys make you happy and make you feel good inside.
Hooking up with ONE at your age is a big mistake.
Take it from some people who've been there.

And with that, the comments are closed.