Falling in Love – How young is too young?

Being so close to Valentine’s Day, it seems very fitting that we share this story from Graco’s extended family member, Shawn Byrne, Director of Supply Chain.

You may remember Shawn shared a very funny first day of kindergarten with us here. So when I heard the latest excerpt in the book of excitement that is his daughter, “Minnie,” you know my first question was, “Can I share this on the blog?”

Seems Mom and Dad recently received an e-mail from Minnie’s kindergarten teacher. The e-mail briefly stated that Minnie and a male classmate had announced “they were in love” in school that day.

The teacher explained that some parents think an announcement like this is funny or cute, but on the other hand, some have gotten quite upset by it in the past. She just wanted to let them know so they could address the issue in whatever way was best for them.  Shawn and his wife decided to just let the issue blow over.  They didn’t think it was any cause to worry.

Now obviously a child’s version of love is quite different than that of an adult. But what is their version? What do they think love is? Should we ask our children in this type of situation, or just let it go thinking they won’t understand the true meaning? And if we do ask, do we alter their view to become what we as adults think love is or should be?

Personally, I tend to hear boy names mentioned more than girl names when Baby and I are discussing her school day at the dinner table. Yet thankfully, I have not heard her mention any one as a “boyfriend.” Then again, Spring will soon be arriving, and who knows what the new season of flowers and sunshine will bring.

How would you feel about your child announcing they were “in love” at such a young age?

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your loved ones from all of us at Graco!

* Special note of thanks to Bart Vermeersch for this adorable photo.

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3 Responses to “Falling in Love – How young is too young?”

  1. Kim @ What's That Smell? February 13, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    I think on some level this is healthy behavior for them. It shows that their parents have set a positive example and that they hear the word love a lot. They don’t understand what it means, they are just emulating the behavior of the adults in their lives.

    My son is in kindergarten and has two little girl friends who have announced that they are going to marry my son (yeah, he’s gonna break some hearts LOL), and their parents, and we, think it is cute and harmless. They both said they like my son because he is nice to them. So it helps us to know that we are doing something right!

  2. Deb - Mom of 3 Girls February 13, 2010 at 8:02 pm #

    My first grader is quite social and has had a ‘boyfriend’ (which I take as ‘boy’ ‘friend’) since kindergarten. She blows him kisses when she sees him (he’s in a different class this year) and talks about how much she ‘loves’ him. I agree with Kim – I think it’s harmless at this point. In another 10 years I’ll be much more worried, lol. ;)

  3. Karen Hartzell February 14, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    I agree it expresses mimicking healthy behavior. Plus most times it’s so stinkin’ cute I can’t stand it! :-)