So, your five-year-old comes home and is beaming from ear to ear. You wonder whether that 100 percent has finally been achieved in the most dreaded subject of Mathematics, but no. She tells you that she is in love with this classmate and this boy is gorgeous. She says she can’t get enough of him and is looking forward to returning to school the following day. What do you do?
I guess gone are the days when the fun of lessons is inspirational to a young child. If there are skeptics about these trends, let me give you a brief overview of the status quo.
My fifth grader recently begun paying attention to his appearance to impress a girl. He went to his older brother for a few tips and instead of getting the help, the brother snitched on him. My advice to the 10-year-old was that he was too young to be talking about girls and his concentration should be on books. “Leave me alone mum; to fall in love in peace”. I decided to leave him alone and observe the ‘love’ trends which included subjecting all of us to watching a music video he claimed was this girl’s favourite song. He still goes on and on about how beautiful she is, how her name has become his favourite letter, blah, blah until I decided not to let it get on my nerves.
I met a lady when we shared a seat somewhere and the two-hour journey unpacked variables that included her nine-year-old’s love escapades. The daughter told her mum about a crush on some boy in her class. Her explanation to her being too young to like anybody fell on deaf ears as the ‘lover girl’ decided not to be deterred. Another five-year-old returned home from school with a heavy heart because she had broken up with a boyfriend in her class. Her mother had to persuade her to eat lunch, but she had to forgo it to get over her ‘misery’. It struck me that this love bug seems to have beaten the smallest of generations real hard and is becoming deep-rooted.
Now, in my days, love was far from the lips of junior school goers and I am curious whether we need to take these youngsters seriously or ignore it with the hope that it will go away on its own.
Should we blame this on the love themes in cartoons or, general television viewing or the information society with everything found at finger tips? Are emotions evolving at a faster rate than technological advancement or are the two moving at par? Are these trends common among all children or could it be rampant only in towns and cities?
For all the parents out there grappling with this new phenomenon, I am one of those equally baffled and wondering what is happening around us. I want answers on how to deal with this love without necessarily causing alarm. And for those of you who have not experienced it, yet, well, either you turn is coming or your children may just be playing underground. Again, you might just be those who will experience it a later stage than now.
Whatever the case, the peculiar thing is that these lovers are so convinced it is true love they are experiencing. They are so adamant about their emotions with little room for anything contrary. Why, they even want to spend on their loves and are perpetually saving to please their girls or boys. Help, someone. Anybody. Comments or contributions welcome. n