What’s the cut-off age for letting your child play with a friend of the opposite sex behind closed doors?
I was listening to a conversation recently on a morning radio show, Mix100. The topic was about a 9-year-old boy who has been friends with a 9-year-old girl for years. Whenever they’ve played at the boy’s house, they’ve done so in his room, with the door closed, to prevent his little sister from entering and messing with their toys. But now that the boy is 9, his mother is starting to get concerned that there could be hormonal stirrings and that it is no longer appropriate to let them play behind closed doors.
The mom didn’t want to put any thoughts in the kids’ heads nor did she want to make either of them feel awkward.
Several people called in to give their two cents. Some debated the age at which the line really needs to be drawn, leading to a discussion about when hormones really start to kick in. Others expressed concern over not scarring the kids for life, while others wondered if a conversation should be had between the two sets of parents before mentioning anything to the kids. Finally, a woman called in and said “just make them keep the door open and walk past it frequently” an idea which the radio hosts (and I) felt was a good compromise on the whole situation.
In our household, we haven’t had that problem because the kids share bedrooms. To keep anyone from invading the sibling’s space or belongings, the kids have always known they need to play in the living room or, better yet, in the back yard. Ah, the benefits of having a small house (or so I keep telling myself as we all six share one bathroom).
What do you think? At what age is it no longer OK for kids of the opposite sex to be behind closed doors together? Or does it depend on the kids involved? What if you feel your kid would be OK but you’re not so sure about their budding vixen/playboy pal? Comment below and let me hear your take and advice!