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What to do when your 6 year old daughter has a boyfriend?

My eldest daughter is only six years old, so I honestly thought I was years away from dealing with “boyfriends” in our household. But since she started grade one earlier this year, it’s been a flurry of love and heartbreak already!

Young love

It all started with a boy named Master G (the names have been changed to protect the innocent). He caught the eye of my kid. It seems she was smitten from the get-go and practically demanded that he be her boyfriend. I dare say that assertiveness comes from her mother.

Naturally, being in grade one, her “BFF” (her words, not mine) did all of the leg work and asked him out on her behalf. By big lunch they were “going out” or whatever kids call it these days.

After her BFF blurted out the news to us at pick-up time, we decided to investigate Master G to find out what kind of young man our daughter had chosen.

“He’s really nice and he is really nice to me,” she informed us.

That was the extent of her knowledge of her new beau. Further prying provided no information whatsoever. She didn’t even know his surname! That afternoon, Miss Six came home and proceeded to set herself down on her drawing table, grabbing numerous coloured markers, some paper and crafts. Before long, she was composing him a love note.

Her mother and I smiled at each other, with that smile that parents share when you think your kid is being cute.

Then we read the letter.

“I never thort I’d love you… I did not know you in prep last year, but now I know you I love you… I wud cry if you dy…”

It went on.

Firstly, her spelling is atrocious, we clearly need to pay more attention in this department. And secondly, WTF? This is the beginning of a new phase in our lives as parents and its arrived about a decade sooner than I expected.

The boy phase – how are we here already?!

I know how ungentlemanly young gents can be, because I was young once. However, I feel that having insider knowledge arms me with the necessary strategies to prepare my daughters’ for their battles ahead.

The problem is there’s so much knowledge to impart upon their growing brains, so it’s hard to know where to start. She’s six so the “birds and the bees” talk is another 10 years away at least (I know I’m kidding myself, but one can dream right?).

So here’s a quick list for Miss Six (and soon for her sister, Miss almost-Four) on what boys in her grade want, what to look out for and how to avoid tricky situations:

Boys will hit you if they like you. I know it’s weird and it shouldn’t hurt, it should be more of a love pat. But whether it hurts or not, you don’t have to put up with it – tell the little bastard to stop!

Kiss chasey is off limits at all times until you’re at least 30. No kissing boys. Period.

Make all boys aware that your Dad knows Muay Thai (even though the reality is that I couldn’t fight my way out of a wet paper bag, I want to instil fear in potential suitors).

Inform them that we have a vicious pitbull at home trained to take down nasty boyfriends who break your heart. Actually it’s more of a maltese shi-tzu but when he grows up he wants to be pitbull.

Then again, maybe she won’t need my help after all. The beautiful thing to come from her first dalliance with the opposite sex is her resilience, already.

No sooner had she gone to school the following day after falling in love, when she found out that Master G didn’t want to be her boyfriend anymore. We were anticipating a fallout and she was contemplative for an hour or two.

Then she grabbed yesterday’s artwork and proceeded to scribble out her now ex-boyfriend’s name from the picture’s she had made…

And replaced it with a new boy’s name.

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