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Girls Control The Boy Puppets

May 16th, 2010 · 1 Comment

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On the weekend I learned that girls determine the pairings when you’re 12 or 13 and wearing your relationship trainer wheels.

A 12-year-old boy, on the sideline of my son’s rugby match, filled me in on the gameplay. Apparently the boys stand there like naive ducks, hoping a girl (any girl) will like them. The girls stand back and select the ones they want to be partnered with (if any). If a boy is really keen, he might proactively ask one of the girls if she knows anyone that might like him.

“The girls really like M and say that if he was taller he’d be the pick of the group,” the boy shared with me.

“But because he’s short no one wants to be with him right now. Maybe when he grows a bit.”

Right, so short is out. Any other traits that early teen boys need to be concerned about?

“They don’t like A either because they say he’s annoying. He asks too many questions. He’s a bit hyper.”

“Not all the girls want to hang out with us. Some of them like older boys.”

OK, so if you’re 12 or 13 and interested in girls, it’s best to be tall and quiet. I asked the boy what he and his friends looked for in a girl. Did they need to be a certain height and have an acceptable personality too?

“No, we pretty much like them all,” he said without explanation. Great news if you’re a teenage girl.

One of the fathers told me that he was “so happy” for his son when he first learned that he had a girlfriend, aged 12. The fathers, it seems, are extremely keen for their sons to start hooking up with girls. Any girls.

“I told him that I thought it was wonderful,” he said. “But now it’s turned into a nightmare. My son is contantly on Facebook, messenging and phoning to find out who said what to whom about him or his girlfriend.”

Another father, whose son is already 13, told me he had to take his son away for the entire April school holiday break because his son was being “manipulated” by his girlfriend.

“It started off innocently at first but then she started phoning my son at all hours, and so did her friends. They were feeding him all sorts of rubbish and it was all he could think about.”

Haven’t the tables turned? When I was in year seven and eight, it was the girls who were getting the run around from the boys. Our diaries are evidence of broken hearts, the victim of no communication or nonchalant boyfriends.

These days, some 30 years later, the girls are apparently happy to swap between boys, leaving broken male hearts in their wake.

“B is my heart, my whole world,” screams the Facebook status of year eight boy B, not yet 14.

I’m all for girl power but I worry, as a parent of boys, that the girls are starting to use them to increase their status within their circle of friends. A mother of a year nine girl told me that some of the girls in her daughter’s year group compare the number of sexual conquests they had on a weekend in much the same way that my girlfriends and I compare shoes: openly and with enthusiasm. Apparently the higher the number, the better.

Taking into consideration an element of exaggeration (I don’t think that ever changes except that now the girls are doing it), it’s concerning to hear that so many young women lack self-respect. Do their parents really not know what’s going on?

It’s great that young women are in control of their bodies. Far better than the alternative, so I’m not suggesting that progress hasn’t been made in some areas. But have they missed the message somewhere along the line that they are special? Whose job should it be to tell them?

Tags: Body Image · Relationships · Self-esteem · sex · social media

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Melissa // May 17, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    This happened to my son too. But to put it in perspective my daughter also got played by her boyfriend when she was 13.

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