girls playing w boys

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So for those of you w/ school-age daughters: what are your rules for them playing w/ boys (spoken or unspoken).

My daughter is 8 and there is a boy who is almost 10 who lives a few doors down and they like to call for each other to play outside. Lately, the boy's 13 y/o male friend has been coming along. And I'm not comfortable w/ it at all. I wouldn't love her hanging w 10 & 13 y/o girls either...but that they are boys makes it even worse.

Sometimes my 5 y/o son plays w/ them too but sometimes he doesn't want to and then it's just my daughter and two older boys.

Now I hear the 10 y/o boy asked my daughter to be his gf :/

There is a family of four boys across the street from about the ages of 4-11, and my daughter likes to play w/ them, too.

There are no little girls who live on our end of the street for my daughter to play w/. (Yes, I have her enrolled in activities but she still likes to ride her scooter or run thru the sprinkler w/ other kids when we're home.

Sometimes I sit on the porch and watch them play and sometimes I check on them every couple of minutes but it's not realistic that I watch her constantly.

I remember when I was a little younger, my father told me that I can't be the lone girl playing w/ boys...and I didn't undersand and thought it was weird. But dammit, now that I'm a parent, I feel the same way.

Last edited by spiderlashes5000; 06-26-2013 at 08:04 AM.
I was sexually abused as a little girl by a neighborhood boy. I was probably about 5 and he was older...maybe 8 or 10...I don't know exactly. I only know I thought of him as a "big boy". He was a neighbor's grandson who visited a lot, so he didn't live there. We were playing outside and then he took me into a garage and made me undress and abused me. I never told anyone.

SO...NO...I didn't let my daughter play alone with boys when she was young.
The boy across the street, who was older, exposed himself to me, while we played hide and seek. He was only a few years older but it is still a horrible memory.

I'm a negative on that one. Especially if he wants your daughter to be his gf.


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Why is a 13 year old playing with a 10 and 8 year old? When I was 13 I wanted nothing to do with "little kids"
I think when that's who you have around, that's who you play with. The ten year old might be a better match, but if he comes with an eight year old then ok. Some kids are better than no kids. There were a lot of kids in my neighborhood when I was growing up and none of the girls were within two years of me until I was much older. I was just happy to have someone to hang out with, I didn't particularly care if they were two or three years younger or older.

All that said, I don't have a particular problem with girls playing with boys. I have a much bigger issue with the lack of supervision. I know it's very popular to give modern parents a hard time about being over involved, but I had one of those idyllic unsupervised free range childhoods where the kids ran in a pack. My takeaway from that experience is that kids need MUCH more supervision than we were getting in the 70s. I feel the same way about slumber parties.
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I do not have children but when I was growing up I played tag and games with the little boys on our block. My mom always sat outside and watches us so there really were never any problems. As long as you are watching your child it should be alright. I live next door to a park and children as young as three and up walk down to the park from blocks away with no parent supervision what so ever, even 5-10 year olds still need some form of supervision in my opinion. Maybe even older. If i had a daughter I would let her play with the little boys from the neighborhood but I would also be outside watching her.
I would be okay with the 10 year old...not the 13 year old. I would just say no when he tagged along. I would make sure they play where they are visible to you...even if you are in the house. Backyard and you have windows open...or in the living room...
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Last edited by KiraSavannah; 07-05-2013 at 10:16 AM.
The time she normally wants to play is when I am cooking dinner or getting dressed to go somewhere w/ I can't watch them like a hawk. Before these boys became an issue, my kids just rode their scooters or bikes the distance of about 6 houses, back and forth. Or they played in the sprinklers in our backyard alone and I watched from the window.

But OK maybe I have gotten too lax w/ supervising them. The new rule will be only in our backyard or out front but only when I can be outside w/ them.

I personally didn't have have trouble playing with boys, but they were my age exactly (boys from my class who lived nearby). The worst that happened was that they urinated on a fence in the alley and I peeked. However, after reading the above posts, I'd be very careful.

As for the teenager tagging along, that is weird. The only teenager around (other than my brother and step-siblings) was a hippie guy who was FAR too cool to even notice us little kids. (I think he had a black cape!)


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I had a similar experience when I was 6 or so, neighborhood boy, older. I was actually with my older brother (by 2 years) and the "big boy" called me aside. It was within viewing distance of where I lived. I always opt for caution.

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I have two sons (older now), and neither would have had any interest in hanging around with an 8 year old girl when they were 13. Not much interest when they were 10, either. I would err on the side of caution and limit contact. The "girlfriend" thing may be completely innocent, but IMO it's better to be safe.
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The 13 y/o is actually very small for his age, now that I think of it...I was quite surprised when I heard he was 13. He was barely bigger than the almost 10 y/o.

My daughter is 8.5 and the almost 10 y/o I guess is really 9.5, so the age difference btwn the two of them isn't that big.

Not sure if it is relevent but my kids and these kids are the only African American kids on the block. And the family of four boys across the street are Latino and look enough like my kids they could all pass for siblings. The father of the almost 10 y/o cuts my grass and his sister used to play w/ my daughter when my daughter was 7 and the sister was 10...but now I guess the sister has moved on. So I guess there is maybe an attraction (friendship or otherwise) bc we are ppl of color in a mostly White neighborhood.

But still I agree that times have changed since I was 8 and ran the streets w/ a big mob of kids and parents never had any idea what we were doing but somehow we mostly all managed to stay safe. I need to keep a closer eye on things. I just don't want to offend the parents if the almost 10 y/o goes back to them and says I won't let my kids play w/ him...for some mysterious reason.

Maybe you should give her a talk about what's appropriate for her to do and for her to tell you if anything feels wrong or uncomfortable. Also teach her to say no! As a girl that used to hang out with a lot of boys only a year older than myself I was often asked to expose myself. And never being taught to say no, I always did it. And was the one who got in trouble.
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Parenting is hard, ugh!

The age difference isn't a big deal, IMO. I wouldn't have a problem with it, as long as it was in my yard. I wouldn't consider that an "older" child. They could be in the same grade.

The 13 year old? No way. If I saw that the 13 year old was coming out to play, I would bring my child in. I disagree that a 13 year old is too old to hang out with a 10 year old. My cousin's son is 13 and he and my 10 year old son are friends. But I don't know what a 13 year old, assuming heterosexual, boy would have in common with a little girl.
And FYI, I was "molested" by a girl when I was 4. She was probably between 6-8; I don't remember. So it's not just boys that are predators.

I'm not sure if that's the right choice of words. She was acting out what was done to her. Very sad story actually.
Yes girls do molest girls too...and boys. I remember my nephew went to play at his mother's friend's house and she has lots of kids boys and girls. When my nephew came back he told us that one of the girls got him under a blanket, kissed and touched him. He was baffled and wanted to know why she did that.. he didn't get it. He was around 5 at the time and the girl was 9ish. And she was such a quiet and shy girl.

I also remember when i was a child an 11-12ish girl molested 2 sisters under a blanket. I was playing alone nearby and I remember one of them saying it hurt. All 3 are married with children now.

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I do want to say that some sexual play is absolutely normal for pre*****cent children so not all of it is actually abuse or molestation. But still, no one wants their child exposed to sex or unwanted sexual contact that isn't age appropriate.

Reason #317 why parenting sucks sometimes.
My sister in law makes her girls wear dungarees whenever they went out to play. And she already told them their private areas are PRIVATE and no one's allowed to go there. But she is more afraid of paedophiles than little boys.

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I do want to say that some sexual play is absolutely normal for pre*****cent children so not all of it is actually abuse or molestation. But still, no one wants their child exposed to sex or unwanted sexual contact that isn't age appropriate.

Reason #317 why parenting sucks sometimes.
Originally Posted by Po
I agree that some "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" is probably going to happen - or if not happen, the topic is going to come up - among curious, unsupervised children. Girls, boys, girls and boys - curiosity is normal. That is exactly why it's important to start telling kids YOUNG that their bodies are just for them, no one should ask to see/touch you, etc and you certainly don't ask to see/touch anyone else. Just like everything else, you can't leave them to their own devices and hope for the best. You have to get out in front of it.

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