Conversation with kids: Dating & relationships in fifth grade

Carousel / Contributors / Parenthood. / The Grind / April 11, 2016

I don’t know if you knew, but it goes down in fifth grade, from the DMs to school hallways.

While I have memories of my now 27-year-old self being 10-11 years old, I have learned that the 10-11-year-old kids of today are not the sort that I or any generation preceding mine were.

I can say this with a considerable amount of confidence and insight given that I am raising a 10-year-old daughter who is in fifth grade.

Now, don’t get me wrong, many in my generation developed faster than our parents were ready for. I remember my elders blaming the early development of the girls’ bodies on “the steroids in the chicken.” I didn’t know whether it was true or not, but I knew I loved chicken in any way that it came … but especially fried.

It’s since been documented by institutions like Duke University Health System that “African-American and Hispanic girls tend to start puberty slightly earlier than Caucasian girls.” Additionally, studies like the 2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey support a strongly developing theory that the increase in the number of girls who start menstruation at 13 or younger (as opposed to 16-17 at the turn of the 20th century) may be tied to an exposure to environmental toxins found in everyday items like plastic food and beverage containers, vinyl flooring and cars.

The discussion about the puberty culprit is one for another day, not the one being had here, right now.


Click here to check out my eye-opening conversation about sex, dating, and relationships with my daughter.

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