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Is it normal for 5th graders to start dating?

My daughter is 11. She has had crushes in the past, but it seems like this year the entire 5th grade is suddenly boy/girl crazy and everyone is dating. My daughter was "asked out" by a boy that she has liked since 3rd grade, she said yes, and now they are "dating" each other. They hang out at school, text message (A LOT) and occasionally talk on the phone. They have been out (in a large group) a few times. I read all of her text messages and up until this point it has been pretty innocent but last night this boy told her that he loved her and she said I love you too. This "relationship" has been going on for almost 2 months now. Should I be concerned? I know this boy's parents, and we have laughed about it together in passing. Neither of us thought it would last as long as it has, and it doesn't seem to be dying out. I have had talks with my daughter about it and she is handling herself very maturely but I am a little worried.

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Asked by mamarazzi82 at 7:35 AM on Dec. 4, 2013 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 1 (2 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • Yes, it's normal as far as I can tell. Kids had girlfriends/boyfriends when I was elementary and even I had my first boyfriend when I was 12.

    Answer by Barbariccia at 8:09 AM on Dec. 4, 2013

  • What you describe is normal, but make sure that you don't allow her to text all of the time with him, I think that is overkill and sets an example for how she interacts with men when she gets older. I was worried when I opened this, you meant like in a car alone, LOL!

    Answer by 2kids2dogs2cats at 8:39 AM on Dec. 4, 2013

  • Its normal. Today they call it dating when they have a bf/gf. Especially the younger ones. Its hard to get used to my DD 9 saying she is dating someone. But they don't text, phone or see each other outside of school. I'd put some restrictions on the texting. All the time is too much.

    Answer by jenny3344 at 10:24 AM on Dec. 4, 2013

  • How does an 11 yr old date? Our 11 yr old son doesn't have a cell phone, and won't until he's 16, and has to earn it. It's not a right, it's something earned.... I take him everywhere, and am with him everywhere unless he's at school, so no need for one. Yes he stays over at friends, but I know the parents well, and if they need me, they call me. If he wants to call a girl on the phone, that's fine, but he won't be texting anyone, and will not be alone on the phone with her. We are trying to teach our sons (3 of them) to be respectful of his peers, and being put in an adult situation isn't healthy at 11. IMO.

    Our son likes a girl, but he's not ready for the "relationship" part of it all. We tell him that being friends is what's important, be it with a girl or boy. Why put that pressure on children, to be in adult situations? Yes they have crushes, but being friends is what it's about.

    We want our son to be a kid.

    Answer by MrsLeftlane at 10:24 AM on Dec. 4, 2013

  • Thanks so much for the replies thus far! MrsLeftlane, my daughter has a cell phone because she has proven that she is responsible enough to have one. She has not abused her phone privileges by any means. As I stated in my post, I have been reading all of their texts. There is nothing inappropriate going on with their conversations, my concern was really if this "dating" behavior is normal for this age group? When I use the word "date" they are not actually DATING, as in going out on dates together, that is just the terminology they are using. As 2kids2dogs2cats stated, it is really just a term they are using to say they have a boyfriend or girlfriend. I have already put restrictions on the amount she is on her phone (no phone after 8pm, no phone use before school, homework must be complete, behavior must be in check, etc) and I will continue to monitor her texts. I appreciate the input!

    Comment by mamarazzi82 (original poster) at 10:52 AM on Dec. 4, 2013

  • Boy crazy yes. Dating, no.

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:47 AM on Dec. 4, 2013

  • Totally normal.

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 12:29 PM on Dec. 4, 2013

  • I think it's pretty innocent and no big deal. Just keep in mind as she gets older that it only takes a second to delete a whole string of texts and if she knows you're watching her texts she could delete things. I'm not saying she will but keep it in mind if her behavior changes or anything. I speak from experience bc one of my sons got some weird texts that freaked him out and he deleted them instead of showing me

    Answer by Nimue930 at 5:58 PM on Dec. 4, 2013

  • What?? NO! Sorry, but no way, are you kidding me. eleven years old and "dating". Yes, its normal for crushes, etc. However, this is way to young. And any mom that says its ok, needs to rethink what the are saying. Its not normal. Wait a year or so, at least until she is in middle school to be able to text and call boys. Yes it may be innocent, but that is making her grow up way beyond her years. My daughters aren't even allowed to have a facebook. There is absolutely no need for it at all. Let them be kids, stop letting them try and grow up so fast. They have many years ahead of them to do all that.

    Answer by lovemyfour79 at 2:11 PM on Dec. 15, 2013

  • mrsleftlane....couldn't agree with you more!

    Answer by lovemyfour79 at 2:12 PM on Dec. 15, 2013

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