So, you want to be a boyfriend…

At barely nine years of age, my child is not old enough for romantic attachment. I was a little surprised to watch him devour a book with relationships as a central theme.  The Origami Yoda books are well written from a boy/misfit perspective, and this one ends with the boy finding himself happily dancing with a group of kids which includes the girl who he likes (so nothing too heavy).   When I learned that my child was being teased about a girl and was upset about it because he actually likes her, I figured it was time to have a small part of that talk. Read on to see what I said.

My Dear Child,

A boyfriend is a boy who has a romantic attachment to a partner. Romantic involvement in adults includes sex, which makes babies. Kids need to keep their private parts to themselves. There are laws designed to protect children from sex. (If you want to know more about any of this, please ask.)

A young boyfriend can enjoy feeling a special closeness with his young partner through eye contact and holding hands. You can still have close friendships with several people when you are a boyfriend. But being a boyfriend is a promise to only enjoy romantic closeness with your partner.

When someone agrees to be your partner this can make both of you feel special and happy. If your special friend says no, or if they are not allowed to have a boyfriend, this can make you feel rejected and sad. Even happy boyfriends can find themselves suddenly sad if their partner breaks up with them. Sometimes people are so hurt by a breakup or cheating that they don’t even want to be friends anymore. It is absolutely OK to not be anyone’s boyfriend.

If you really want to be someone’s boyfriend, then you should always try to:
– be your best
– be honest
– be loyal
– be generous

Be Your Best
Cut your fingernails, clean your teeth, blow your nose with a tissue, be kind to animals, do your best at school/music/sport, be polite to people and be the best version of yourself that you can be. Partners become like a mirror for each other. Seeing the other person do well reflects on you, and vice versa. So being your best is part of making the other person happy. You will also enjoy helping your partner to be their best too.

Try to understand how you actually feel ~ don’t pretend.
Always tell your partner the truth, because they deserve it.
Be honest with your partner, because it’s only worth having a special friend if they like who you really are.
If you ever think your partner is lying to you, then you need to talk about that and work out what is really going on.

A partner has the right to be beside you and be acknowledge as your partner any time they want.
Partners defend each other, even when they are apart, and don’t let other people say or do hurtful things to the other.

A boyfriend should take the time to make his partner feel good, and show his partner how wonderful they are and how good they make him feel. Some people always know the right thing to say. Some boyfriends write letters or use poems, songs, drawings, Minecraft mods or folded paper creations as presents to show your partner that you care. Always do your best, be honest about your feelings, getting your spelling correct, and listening to what your partner actually likes.


Your loving mother.

Edited 18Dec’15 to add a link of interest:
Dutch relationship education which starts in kindergarten

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