Your 7-Year-old has a Boyfriend/Girlfriend? Here’s What to Do


7-year-old kids are great and fun, but the trouble comes when they start wanting to have a boyfriend or a girlfriend. I have some 7-year-old nieces and nephews, and I have seen them start to get crushes on the opposite sex before. So, I did some research about some great ways to handle the subject. 

What do you do when Your 7-year-old has a boyfriend or girlfriend? The answer to that is complicated and often needs to be dealt with on a personal case, but in general, these relationships aren’t real and are pretty harmless. Most kids this age, though interested in the opposite sex, will not advance the relationship inappropriately.

Kids are so cute and 7-year-olds are adorable. Getting to experience your kids first crush with them is fun and exciting! But when their crush turns into their boyfriend or girlfriend it is easy to wonder what the right way to handle the situation can be.

So, I read up all about it and compiled some ideas that might be able to help you. 

What to Do When Your 7-Year-Old has a Boyfriend or Girlfriend

I remember being in kindergarden and thinking aww that boy is so cute! Then during the first and second grade when I was around 7 years old I remember thinking that I wanted to be like my parents and siblings and I wanted to have a boyfriend. 

When we all look back into our past we can remember our first boyfriend or girlfriend and when we think about it we can probably realize we were younger than we thought. That doesn’t always make it easier to cope with your 7-year-old holding hands with their girlfriend or boyfriend, but it is a great place to start! 

Below I have a list of 5 things that can help you decide how you want to handle your 7-year-olds first boyfriend or girlfriend. 

1. Kids are Gonna be Kids 

It can be a huge shock to see your kid walking out of school holding hands with another kid and maybe even see them kiss goodbye. Immediately your brain goes into parent mode, and let’s be honest, you start to freak out. The best thing to keep in mind at this point is that 7-year-old kids are still pretty innocent. 

Don’t get me wrong they may still unroll an entire roll of toilet paper or convince their sister that she came from a toilet (yup my brother did that) but all in all, they are pretty innocent when it comes to relationships and romantic feelings.  

For us, as adults, we hear the word “relationship” and our minds go to a hundred different places thinking about good and bad qualities of those, but that is all pretty adult themed. 

On the other hand, when a 7-year-old thinks about relationships they think about the girl or boy that they are going to sit by on the bus or at lunch. They may think about holding hands or sharing an innocent kiss but those things really are more friendship-based then romantically based. 

I remember my first elementary school boyfriend. We held hands and kissed a few times (and by kissed I mean our lips barely touched in a quick peck) and then after about a week, it was over.

When I grew up and people asked me about my first kiss did I tell them about the little boy on the playground in elementary school?

Nope. I told them about my first kiss as a teenager because that was a kiss that meant something, not a tiny peck from a kid on a playground somewhere that was more for than for feelings. 

So, it’s nice for us as parents to remember our pasts and remember that to a 7-year-old a boyfriend or girlfriend probably just means the boy or girl that they are currently spending time with. 

Your little one’s first crush is probably pretty innocent and can actually be a fun experience for you and your little 7-year-old.  

2. Little Kids Want to be Like you

I love the Rodney Atkins song I Wanna Be Like You it reminds me of how much our children watch us and how much they mimic us. They see mommy holding hands with daddy and they want to hold hands with someone. They see daddy steal a peck from mommy and now they want to do that too. 

Our little ones watch us more than we know and more than that they want to be like us. So, when we see our 7-year-old come home and announce that they have a boyfriend or girlfriend it is pretty safe to say that they are just trying to be like you. 

In Rodney Atkins song the little boys says: 

 “I’ve been watching you, dad, ain’t that cool? I’m your buckaroo, I wanna be like you and eat all my food, and grow as tall as you are. We like fixing things and holding mama’s hand. Yeah, we’re just alike, hey, ain’t we, dad? I wanna do everything you do, so I’ve been watching you.”

This perspective can help us see the innocence in our children and maybe help us see that our 7-year-old having a ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’ is really just an innocent way for them to “be like you”. 

3. Don’t Ignore Your Little One’s Feelings 

As little kids are developing and as they start to share with us things about their lives its important that we listen to them and not shut them down. When your 7-year-old comes and tells you something, chances are it isn’t that bad. 

When your 7-year-old sneaks behind your back, then things can get a little worrisome. It is so great when our kids are open with us and it is something that we want to keep up the older they get.

So, if we are careful not to shut them down when they are younger chances are they will continue to be open longer. 

If you are really worried about your 7-year-olds relationship a great way to calm your fears and asses the situation is to ask them what their relationship means to them.

Normally this will lead to some piece of mind as it becomes clear that relationships to 7-year-olds aren’t very serious and hold little meaning. 

I have a nephew who is 5 years old and has been engaged to and married to his best friend, the daughter of his moms best friend, about 20 times. Sometimes they even walk down the aisle together. 

This idea of affection is common in all little kids especially 7-year-olds and is mostly fun and pretend for them.

Chances are that little kids will be engaged multiple times before reaching the more mature ages of 8-9 and most kids will have completely forgotten about it by the time they reach our age. 

4. Be Open about Relationships 

7-year-old relationships can be a great way to begin talking with your young one about the appropriate way to behave in relationships and what relationships really mean. 

One mother said in an all moms blog that her, “7-year-old son talks about which girls in his class have asked if they can be his girlfriend, Anne turns the conversation into a lesson about “how private parts are private and not for them to touch or [be touched].”

In this same blog another mother talked about how she used the opportunity to acknowledge the relationship but also deter anything crazy by explaining that,  “kissing and sharing food and drinks are a no-no because you can get very sick or cause someone else to get sick, [be]cause you never know who has the cold bug.”

The more you acknowledge this quote un-quote relationship the less likely your 7-year-old is to pursue it farther. While on the other hand, the more you are against it the more your child will want to do it.

Sometimes kids just like picking on their parents. 

5. Don’t Ignore Your Feelings 

Now all of this being said you are the parent of your child and you and your spouse are really the only ones who can receive revelation for your child.

So, if you feel like this whole 7-year-old boyfriend/girlfriend thing is more serious than don’t ignore your feelings and act how you feel you should act. 

For me, the best way to know how to handle the situation is to go back to a previous question and ask your child what they think the relationship means. Most of the time you will be able to discern what your child needs and the situation will turn out great. 

You are all pro parents and your kid’s love and respect you. You will be able to help them find the best way to handle the situation because you love them and they love you. Remember, they want to be like you. 

Related Questions 

What is the right age for kids to start dating? A lot of parents feel that 16 is a good age to start dating while others feel like 15 or 17 works better for their family. There really is no set age as long as there remains open communication between the parent and the child.

What is the right age for kids to have their first kiss? In most studies, it has been found that most people have their first kiss by age 15. Every circumstance is different, and there really isn’t really a “right” age to have your first kiss. 

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