Have you ever seen a little boy and girl playing together in the sandbox and exclaimed, “Oooh la la! Jenny found a new boyfriend!” or “Aww! Tommy is flirting again!”?
I hear parents do it all the time. Some parents even insist that their children are “in love” with the neighbor boy, a girl in preschool or a friend’s child.
I can’t help but think that this type of behavior will inevitably manifest itself in a toddler’s development. Does it teach our children that any member of the opposite sex that you connect with has to be a romantic partner? Does it boil all male/female relationships down to a simple boyfriend-girlfriend dynamic? And, perhaps more importantly, don’t we have anything better to talk about?
It strikes me as odd and meddlesome for a parent to create a love life for a child, but maybe I’m over thinking it. What do you think? Is it harmless and cute for parents to gush over their kids’ budding relationships? Is it something more perverse? You tell us!
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