Wednesday, May 8, 2013

5th Graders Shouldn't Date!

Elementary school children are pretty easy to read--happy, mad, sad, or annoyed.  With just one glance I could tell that she was mad.  What I didn't know was that this seething anger revolved around the break up with her boyfriend.  Her day was marred by people spreading rumors, her boyfriend breaking up with her, and then the public humiliation of crying in class. 

I've learned over the past few years that eventually she will share what is bothering her, I really just need to wait.  The story sounded like an adult drama--a guy she had liked for "a while" had finally asked her out.  Then after dating for "a while" (a week and a half) some friends were spreading rumors about them--they were cheating on each other.  Today he broke up with her.  Then we flash back to the reality of childhood--she was devastated and crying in class. 

I can't fully understand why dating is so important to her.  She's not the only one though.  Every couple nights I hear a story at supper about someone who is dating or has a crush at elementary school.  I know that she is trying to find love and attention to fill a void. Her story is the same one that so many young girls live.  They crave attention and love so they will do anything to find that love.  I am so afraid that she will become another statistic.  If she is "dating" now, what will happen in middle school? 

I wish that in the few hours I spend with her each week I could impart a different view about childhood and relationships. 
  1. Stay a Child As Long As Possible!  Before you know it you will be an adult.  You will be involved in the responsibilities of life.  Have fun and stop trying to grow up so fast.
  2. Learn to Love Yourself!  God made you just the way you are.  I wish that you could love yourself and know that you are beautiful.  I wish that you would smile more.  We are proud of you and know that you can do amazing things.
  3. Decide Who You Want to Be!  You aren't anyone else.  If you want to be different, let's do it.  If you have a dream, let's work towards it.  You can be different.  I want to help.  Don't believe that you have to follow only one path.   
  4. Don't Date Until You're Old Enough to be Looking for a Husband!  Dating is hard.  Marriage is harder.  When you have figured out where your adult life is headed, then you can start looking for someone to fit your future.  You don't need the emotional stress that boys bring to your young life.
  5. Don't Let a Man (or Boy) Determine Your Worth!  Don't make decisions because a boy wants you to do something.  If you don't want to do something--Don't Do It!
  6. Build Friendships Now!  Instead of worrying about having a boyfriend focus on having friends.  You need to find a group of friends, boy or girl, who you can just have fun with.  Enjoy life.
I don't want you to grow up so fast.  Let's just master being a happy kid!

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