I had a chat with a mother over the weekend. One of the topics that came up was about relationships between eleven year old boys and girls.
The mother had an eleven year old daughter who wanted to date an eleven year old boy. Simple things like visits to the cinema, going to a swimming pool and going shopping. (It is clear who the `strong’ figure was in this budding relationship. I can’t imagine many eleven plus boys actually choosing to go shopping without some considerable inducement.)
It is obviously impossible to generalise about a particular set of circumstances because we know so little about the personalities and relative maturity of the two youngsters. One thing for certain is we can not underestimate the emotions that had been unleashed once they recognised the mutual attraction.
They only thing I could think of was to suggest some form of a plan that could serve for the moment – and for the years ahead.
1. Acknowledge the depth of feeling. It will be no good trying to say: “You are just too young.” After all you just need to remember back to when you were in your teens or approaching your teens.
2. Work out a method of explaining that boys and girls can be friends before they `go steady’.
3. Welcome the other child into your home – and include both children in family outings.
4. Talk to the other set of parents – communication is the key here.
The very last thing you want to do is to fight with your children before an Eleven Plus examination.