Re: Whats appropriate for 11 year olds?
This is not the world we grew up in , guys. A kid saying he or she has a girlfriend is cute to us, but it means something different to them than it did to us at their age.
I know your son is 11; I have 2 boys- 10 and 14. The 14 yo wants to date; I am not comfortable with a full-fledged, drop them off and leave date until he is older. At HIS age, I would be ok with a movie at the theatre, if I was sitting 4 rows back in the same room. I would not be letting them leave together to go get popcorn either.
I'm a public school teacher, and a collegue was riding the activity bus for the co-ed swim team last spring. She said the kids in the back were entertaining themselves by doing each other "favors" (actually, the girls were performing favors for the boys orally...) Yeah, it's sickening, especially if you are parenting a teen these days. But let me be clear: this is not about my school system or our area. If you do some research, you will find that teens AND pre-teens are not only doing this, they don't even consider it having sex, or being intimate. It's purely entertainment.
You need to talk to your kids, and put it out there that X is okay, but Y is not, and Z will get you grounded until you're 65. Tell them about HIV, peer pressure, drugs, all of it. THey don't want to hear it from us, but they need to. I started a composition book that I write in and put under my son's pillow. I write him a fact the peaks his curiosity that I got out of some PSA brochure (ex:did you know that most people who get HIV now are straight?) and if he has questions that he is too embarassed to ask me directly, he can write back, and I will elaborate. It's easier and less awkward sometimes, and he has become more open about actually talking about things directly when he has a question.
But 11? He needs to be learning how to tie knots in scouts. He has all his adult life to cuddle with women. Keep him young as long as you can.
Now that you have given him this freedom, though, it may be hard to pull in the reigns. I would ask him directly what they have done together. If it's beyond a quick kiss, I'd say he needs other hobbies, and you're going to have to be the one to provide the alternatives. WII is more appropriate for 11. Not grand theft auto (I know kindergardeners who are allowed to play this..) Karate class. Anything designed for kids, that will get him moving and tire him out or get him interested in something besides girls. You can invite her to go on some things with you (supervised) so they don't feel you're just trying to keep them apart. But the emphasis on sex in our culture is just over the top, and too much for our kids to handle unless we step in. I hope this has helped.
Last edited by uhaul4mybaggage; 06-29-2011 at 11:12 AM.