My lovely niece, Baby-Doll, has a boyfriend.
Well…technically he’s just a boy who is her friend, but in the world of 5 year-olds this means that they’re getting married. The boy, whom I have decided to refer to as ‘Kitten’, reacted to Baby-Doll’s announcement of their couple status like a lot of boys twice his age; he freaked out and started pushing her away. Yesterday, their tumultuous relationship reached its breaking point. Baby-Doll was sitting in her front yard with her friends, when Kitten walks up to her and declares,”I want to go in the pool.” Baby-Doll told him to go ahead, but Kitten didn’t want to go unless Baby-Doll went with him. When she refused to leave her friends, Kitten got upset and called her a name. Exasperated, Baby-Doll ran into the house screaming, “I hate [Kitten]! HE’S RUINING MY HEART!” and told me all the other rotten things he did.
I explained to Baby-Doll that if Kitten wasn’t nice to her, he’s not a good friend—or boyfriend, and that she shouldn’t play with him anymore. Real friends, I told her, understand when you’re busy, they won’t try to make you do things you don’t want to do, and they don’t call you names.
Baby-Doll then decided that Kitten was a big stupid-face, so not only is he NOT her boyfriend, he’s not her friend either.
You’re never too young (or too old) to learn that lesson.