Parenting advice on romantic relationships in elementary school

Learn about: Parenting advice on romantic relationships in elementary school from Wendy Walsh, PhD,...
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Parenting advice on romantic relationships in elementary school

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Elementary school students sometimes practice "relationships". They certainly do it in their friendships. When the mean girls do their thing in 3rd grade, I'd rather they get it out of their system and they learn things there than take it into a workplace, wouldn't you? So they practice their love relationships too. Now, when a parent hears that their 4th grade girl has a boyfriend, they get all nervous because they're thinking of an adult relationship. But this is mostly role playing, it's mostly child's play, it's mostly fantasy and often the guys know nothing about it, by the way, because the girls mature faster and they're the ones more into it. I would be concerned if you're finding out that there's actual, physical touch going on, because usually in elementary school, the boys and the girls each have codies and they don't want to touch each other until they come back to middle school. So if there's physical touch going on, I would be concerned. But otherwise, this is the way they learn to love and live and break up and be together, and learn that they're okay and learn to relate. So I think it's important sometimes that some kids do practice this. And for the most part, it's fantasy. It's important that parents not project their own ideas of what a boyfriend is on a 4th grader because it doesn't mean that to him and her.

Learn about: Parenting advice on romantic relationships in elementary school from Wendy Walsh, PhD,...

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Wendy Walsh, PhD

Relationship & Parenting Expert

Dr. Wendy Walsh was nominated for an Emmy Award for her work as co-host on The Dr. Phil spinoff, The Doctors TV show. She also hosts Investigation Discovery Network’s “Happily NEVER After,” as well as being part of Dr. Drew’s Behavior Bureau on HLN Network. On CNN and 9 Network, Australia, she breaks down the psychology of sex, love, gender roles, divorce, parenting and other human behaviors. Dr. Wendy is an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at California State University, Channel Islands. She holds a B.A. in Journalism, a Masters degree in Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, and is the author of three books and numerous publications, including The 30-Day Love Detox. She appears regularly on The Today Show, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, The Steve Harvey Show, The O’Reilly Factor, Inside Edition, The Katie Couric Show, Jane Velez-Mitchell, and The View.

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