Parents #AskAlyson: No Interest In Girls YetTags: boys, friendships, school aged (7-12), teens
I’m wondering what is the “average” age for boys to start getting interested in girls? My son is 10 and it seems like all his friends are talking about girls now and who likes who. My son is clearly not interested. At all. I know I should be thankful, just looking for confirmation that this is normal and that he will get there when he is ready. 10 seems very early for this to be happening, so I’m hoping he is the normal one and the other boys are just early?
Thanks for your letter. Your son is normal! Truth is, at this age, tweens are so unpredictable and erratic that just about anything can be “normal”.
Sexual and psychological development take place at different rates for each child. The fact that he doesn’t seem to be taking interest or showing any curiosity when it comes to girls is perfectly normal. The age for the onset of puberty and intellectual maturation ranges from as early as 8 and as late as 14. This is a huge gap – and it is likely that you son will fall within this range. In terms of an ‘average’ age, it seems to be 11 for girls and 12 for boys. But don’t worry about averages…who wants to be average, anyway! Furthermore, even if his body says he is ready, intellectually, his mind might not be on the same wavelength just yet. The two don’t always line up during the process.
Geography and environment also play a big role when it comes to the ages and stages of early dating. At some schools it seems to be the natural thing to do when kids hit Grades 4-6. They start to split off into “couples” and smaller groups. “Going with someone” might simply mean they talk at recess and walk home from school together. In another school just a few blocks away, the culture could be very different. If the recess agenda includes playing soccer and doing things in large groups, the “coupling” process may not start to take place until grade 8.
Based on this idea of tween culture – just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean your son needs to. This is actually a great sign of independence and confidence. He’s not into it just yet and he feels no obligation to conform. Good for him!
The bottom line is that we need to realize what “dating” means to them at the various ages. If it simply means you spend your recess talking to your other half, your son may not be willing to give up his physical activity and basketball 1 on 1 game yet. It’s perfectly normal! Lastly, just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean your son needs to. He’s not into just yet and he feels no obligation to conform. Good for him!
P.S. I have an upcoming tween workshop you should check out. You may find a lot more information that is helpful during this new stage of parenting life.
2 Responses to “Parents #AskAlyson: No Interest In Girls Yet”
Thanks for this, my son is 12 and very book smart. He spends his time watching videos of other people playing video games when he’s not playing with his friends and biking his bike. I’ve asked him about girls but he says he doesn’t like anyone yet and that the other kids at his school “go together”. He also thinks anything more than holding hands and a hug is gross! Lol Body wise he’s still small built so I was just wondering if he was behind on puberty. After reading around seems like he’s on track and just enjoying being himself.
I’d say in addition to the answer, I would also consider the possibility he is interested in girls but just doesn’t want to talk about it, especially if he’s shy and finds talking about girls intimidating. Don’t confuse “into girls yet” with “talks about girls all the time” and please remember that romance is a sensitive topic. Maybe he’s genuinely not into them yet or is but too shy to even talk about it. Remember he’s at an age where honest communication is difficult.
Also maybe learn a few realities of success with relationships. When someone starts showing interest in dating or dating has very little bearing on success or finding someone suitable.
However, and this is a big one, what you are like as a mom majorly impacts his future relationships. I’m not saying that if he’s a mommas boy he’ll not develop interest until later – that’s total bullshit. What you are really like deep down is the key thing, because he will subconsciously think all prospective partners are like you. Marry that with how you behave aswell – instead of constantly raising the issue why not remember how hard it is to communicate at that age and let it be known he can talk to you when he is ready. Fuck bullshit theories – mommas boys end up not dating not from “over mothering” but because their mom is really an asshole and the “mothering” is fake. Do eeal mothering and he’ll be fine.