Adding to the list of ‘stupid things adults have said to my kids recently’ is the line of questioning a dear friend subjected my daughter to.
‘ BabyGirl, do you have a boyfriend?’
‘BabyGirl, do you want a boyfriend?’
‘BabyGirl, are there any nice boys in your playgroup?’
Are you freaking kidding me? She is two. She barely knows the difference between a boy and girl. And it is completely inappropriate to be intimating that my toddler is in some sort of romantic relationship.
‘Oh, it’s just a joke’ is one response to my concerns. Or ‘she doesn’t understand’.
Well, as a joke neither I nor my toddler finds it funny (BabyGirl just looked confused, obviously). And if she doesn’t understand they why the heck are you talking to her like that?
And, more importantly, what are you teaching my little girl? That she should be on the lookout for a boyfriend? That the only relationship she can have with boys is a romantic one? That her love life is what you find most interesting about her? Could you not ask whether she has a favourite animal or likes her teacher at pre-school?
If we want our children to be mature enough for romantic relationships before actually having them, surely it would be better not to imply that they should be having them as toddlers?