Birds & Bees Talks Advice!
I have a question and I think this is the only place open enough to give a logical, educated answer. I have a transgender girl who has had a best friend her entire life, a cisgender boy. My kid is 14, he is 15.
Their relationship changed from best friends to girlfriend/boyfriend. They still have sleepovers, we told them they can’t sleep in the same bed, but they like to cuddle while watching shows in bed.
My husband thinks this is unacceptable. I don’t even know. Is there a logical reason this is not ok? They are young, it seems like a serious relationship for being so young, but is there any evidence that it’s damaging?
Howdy and thanks for your trust in me! I think that this is fine – yes, they are young. Yes, there’s some “complication” regarding your child’s gender (but not really, but sorta). Yes, being serious at this age seems scary and, like, too much. And, yes, most American adults think girlfriend/boyfriend sleepovers are not okay.
Here’s why I’m okay with it:
- They have been real, and really good friends for their whole lives. What a great and safe basis for a first relationship.
- You know this boy well, so he’s not a new person in your kiddo’s life that she’s become obsessed with.
- It’s totally normal for besties to get into romantic relationships. It happens all the time. Same gender, opposite gender, whatever.
- You know what’s up!
- You have Rules!
- Your child is at huge risk for a bunch of fucked up relationship stuff and this very first one is so great for her. So. Great. It’s safe, kind, and friendly.
- Training wheels. This is what first relationships are all about figuring it out and this is a good one to do this in.
- No pregnancy risk!!!!!
- In countries where they have great teen sexual health outcomes, co-ed sleepovers are the norm. Their kids thrive sexually, ours do not.
- The chance that they will stay in a romantic relationship is minuscule. This may pass – they may decide they are better friend-friends than girlfriend/boyfriend.
Also, I would say this, you need to have tons of talks about consent, waiting for oral sex, enjoying the learning of each other’s bodies. You can do this in the 3rd person. Say something like, “Most of the fun of sex is everything leading up to the actual sex.” Lots of talk about how she’s feeling about him, does she like being girlfriend/boyfriend, is this what she really wants, etc.
And considering your family and child’s impending life path…I would pick something else to be overly concerned about. This relationship is safe and sweet and overnights are not going to make it or break it. They will do that themselves.
And, finally, you two are doing a bang-up job. I’m sure this is hugely hard and stressful in general, but you clearly have your sweet girl’s back, which, as you know, is what is required for her to thrive.