Originally Posted by Kiani
Im of the party that believes that 'dating' is what you make it.
Sure, 10yr old boyfriend and girlfriend hand-holding isnt technically dating and it is definetly not going to have emotional intensity that an adult relationship will have, but in 10yr old world, its the dating equivalent.
Its all an experience in the end, all something to learn from.
I work with kids aged 5-11, and the older ones are all paired up, pretty much, sure, theyre not really dating, but theyre holding hands and tellign each other theyre boyfriend and girlfriend, and im not going to come along and crush that for them, that wouldnt be fair, because I know I did that when I was their age too. Its learning, its growing and adapting, you ahve to start at the begnining to get to the end, and with relatioships, the beginning is the hand-holding and the giggling and the sitting next to each other.
I really disagree. Children don't think of their dating as less than adult dating and actually will force the same intensity upon their actions. I don't know where you live, but from my experiences(not only as a young teen dater, but as the oldest of 7 and someone who has studied children for research) they don't just hold hands and giggle.
Allowing children to consider themselves "adult" and to "date" also suggests to them that they can do more, like have sex. The relationships of children are not innocent. There are 6 year olds who ask their parents about oral sex, do you really believe 10 year olds should be encouraged in this "dating", which could lead to completely illegal behavior? (Yes, it is illegal for underage children to be having sex together. Yes, they can be charged with stat rape even if they are both minors.) I don't. I would rather burst their bubbles and keep them from entering a world fraught with dangerous behavior and unhealthy relationships due to their lack of understanding of proper dating.
Also, children emulate what they see. If they live in abusive households(which are incredibly common), they are likely to bring that into "dating". I don't see why we should encourage the abuse cycle. It happened with myself. My childhood household was extremely abusive and I ended up in a very long series of abusive relationships(because I wanted love), some physical, some mental, some which resulted in me being sexually violated because I thought it was okay. My age and innocence led me into those relationships, I don't want to see another young girl(or a boy) suffer from those same things.