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I think a 9th grade boy has a crush on my 7th grade son

Discussion in 'For Parents and Family Members of LGBT People' started by momuvthree, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. momuvthree

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    My son is very small for his age. He is friends with an older boy in the neighborhood (they are only a little more than a year apart in age, but 2 grade levels apart and about a foot apart in height). The other boy texts him all the time, invites him to do things and bought him an unusual amount of stuff for his recent birthday. He is also constantly picking him up and swinging him around and is definitely the leader in the friendship.

    The other boy is an artsy creative type obsessed with musicals and it wouldn't surprise many if he came out as gay, but he hasn't.

    My son in fairly innocent and young hasn't shown much interest in dating anyone of any gender-but I would guess he'll eventually prefer girls.

    I am always nervous when there is an imbalance in relationships (they can easily become predatory)and am uncomfortable with the age gap. I think my kid is amazing, but don't know why a 9th grader would want to be such great friends.

    My question is-Should I just tell my son, that I am uncomfortable with the age difference? Should I mention that I think the boy may have a crush on him?

    I don't want to do anything that might embarrass the other boy, but I also want to keep my son safe.
     
  2. HM03

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    I think you'd probably get better answers if you repost or ask a staff member to move it to the "For friends and family of LGBT".

    I'm not really sure. I mean I was friends with a girl that was 2 grades older than me. Nothing bad ever happened.

    Regardless of whether anything bad could happen, I'd talk to your son about peer-pressure, and standing up for himself in a general sense. And its super awkward for your kid, but let him know that he talk to you about whatever and thats its okay if he likes boys. Even if you think he'll end up being straight, there's an army of LGBT kids of there that would have loved to hear that.
     
  3. momuvthree

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    Oops, look like I posted it in the wrong place. Thanks, I have been stewing about this for a few days. If it was a high school boy giving gifts and showering attention on my 7th grade daughter, I would shut it down immediately. I think a good frank talk in general is a great idea.
     
  4. Chip

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    This is challenging. Your son is probably over the moon about having a friend who shows him quality attention, so approaching this will be delicate.

    I do agree that even a year or two's age gap can be concerning at this age, and that the risk of your son being taken advantage of is probably not negligible.

    One piece we can't really know here is if, in fact, the older boy *is* attracted to your son... is your son attracted back? Even if you've sent very clear signals that loving whomever is perfectly acceptable and you wouldn't disapprove... he may, if he's other than 100% straight, either not fully know, not be able to admit to himself, let alone anyone else, or know but not be anywhere near ready to let anyone else (including you) know, and could deny it if asked. Society, in spite of even the best parenting, does an amazing job of shaming gay kids through messages in media, politics, religion, and culture.

    So there's at least a possibility here that there is a mutual interest, and that it has actually been discussed between them. If so, this probably does make a difference... if your son is aware that there's a sexual/romantic interest, and is OK and perhaps supportive of that (i.e, the feeling is mutual), then while there's still a concern about the age difference and power imbalance... talking about it could inadvertently send the message that loving another boy would not be OK.

    I'm not sure what the best strategy is here. One suggestion might be to just have a casual conversation about the friendship, what his perceptions of it are, and what he enjoys about spending time with his friend. You could also ask your son if he's ever felt uncomfortable or awkward about anything the friend has talked about or asked your son to do. This might provide clues.
     
  5. brainwashed

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    This is an interesting post. Here's my take.
    Disclaimer: Pretty much all my young male-to-male relationship info comes from reading gay coming out books. One such book is Farm Boys.

    a) The age difference it not that big of a deal. One to two years, no sweat.
    b) Both boys sound like they are at "explore and discover" age/time. To me it's more important to let this process occur than to introduce shame. Why? Because this is how we learn and exert independence and build trust and respect. All this starts right at this age.
    c) Arm your son with general knowledge about all types of sexuality. Getting this info out there is vital. Example: In a book story, a young male teen was forced to have penetrative sex, pretty much against his will, by a girl teen who was ~2 years older than him. So getting info out there is vital.
    d) Set back and relax. Build TRUST and respect so he feels comfortable enough to come and talk to you about his feelings. If you do not do d) you've blown it as a parent. (A lot of parents don't do d). They try to control their offspring's lives. BIG MISTAKE.)

    Buy me a virtual margarita if all this pans out. I bet it will. Stop worrying.

    Bye .
     
    #5 brainwashed, Oct 17, 2017 at 5:15 PM
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017 at 5:16 PM