Mayor Ivy Taylor of San Antonio discusses tween "dating"

Last week Morgan had one of those moments where she wanted to confide in me. She told me that she liked a little boy at school and that she had confessed that to him. I asked her what was his response and she said that he said, “I am flattered.”

This was my opportunity to share with her one of the rules that it took me more than 25 years to understand. I told her, “Don’t ever do that again. Boys and men like the chase.”

She was puzzled. Morgan came to me again Wednesday night and said at school that day the same young gentleman gave her his phone number so she could call him. So much for mom’s advice.

Wow! This is totally new territory for me. When I reflect back on my childhood, I remember being allowed to talk on the phone with my friends when I was her age. Morgan does not have a cell phone, so she will have to use the landline with watchful (and listening) parents nearby.

But I am just thinking about how a busy parent navigates this transition phase for pre-teens and young teenagers. I am also wondering how to convey positive messages about healthy friendships between boys and girls while still exercising caution.

Morgan says that some of her other sixth grade friends are “dating” which I find very hard to believe. At this stage, I just want her to focus on her academics and avoid the various complexes and angst that I suffered through at her age. But I guess part of parenting is realizing that your children have to walk through some of those awkward moments that you did. It’s just part of growing up. But in this age of social media, online bullying, and teens with cell phones, it can certainly be uneasy. I think I will err on the side of caution.

Funniest part of all of this is that I did not mention to Rodney about Morgan receiving the boy’s phone number. Morgan suggested this topic for my blog this month, so I guess Rodney will be reading about this new development. Dad’s perspective may be a little bit different. LOL.

Resources for parents:

Young Love: Talking to Your Tween About Dating and Romance

Tweens (ages 10-12 years)

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