Guidelines for your child's relationships

Watch Video: Guidelines for your child's relationships by Rosalind Wiseman , ...
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Guidelines for your child's relationships

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This whole boy-girl thing, when you’re a parent, you know, where your son is maybe really into girls, your daughter’s really into boys. Let me just take a step back. We all need to take a step back, because there is this concept called like boyfriends or girlfriends and those things mean very different things to kids. And there could be kids who are really, really just so focused on the opposite sex – like so boy-crazy, so girl-crazy – some girls, some boys are not going to care. Some girls and boys are sometimes going to care and some boys and girls are not attracted to people of the opposite sex. They don’t know where they’re at yet, they have lots of questions about it. But they are thinking about it and they’re processing it for themselves. What is so important about this whole idea of your children coming into this phase of their life is what we’ve been talking about before, about these relationships and the standards that you establish with friendships, are the same standards that you’re going to carry with you into more intimate relationships. That’s your overall goal. And what happens is is that parents can get so fixated and worried about relationships and what the kids are doing or on the other hand, they can be very dismissive, like “Oh, those kids are so cute. They’re not doing anything, right?” That in the extremes, we really lose the opportunity to guide them through the process. Now are our children going to talk to us a lot about their boyfriends or girlfriends? Some of them may. A lot of them are not going to tell you anything. So the most important thing, I think, to cover your bases for all parents and for all kids is you sit with your child sometime like in fifth grade, and you say, “You know what? People have different feelings about boyfriends and girlfriends, and I just want you to know that it’s all fine. Wherever you are on this is totally fine. But I also want to sit down with you and I want to figure out… you know what? You never need to do anything that you feel physically uncomfortable with. And if that’s the case, then you always have the right to say no. You always have the right to walk away. No matter if you think it’s hurting that person’s feelings or if the relationship will sever. I want you to think about the fact that for you, protecting what you believe and what you feel comfortable doing, with anybody else, no matter how old you are, is the most important thing for you to focus on.”

Watch Video: Guidelines for your child's relationships by Rosalind Wiseman , ...

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Expert Bio

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Rosalind Wiseman

Author & Educator

Rosalind Wiseman is an internationally recognized expert on children, teens, parenting, bullying, social justice, and ethical leadership. Rosalind is the author of Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World, the groundbreaking, fully-revised edition of her bestselling book that was the basis for the movie Mean Girls. Her follow-up book, Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads, addresses the social hierarchies and conflicts among parents and is now being made into a major motion picture by New Line Cinema. In 2010, Rosalind published the  young adult novel Boys, Girls, & Other Hazardous Materials, which was recognized by the American Library Association as one of their Most Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults.  She is now writing a set of companion books for boys and their parents, scheduled for publication in the Fall of 2013. In addition, Rosalind has written the Owning Up Curriculum, a comprehensive social justice program for grades 6-12 which is in widespread use across the country.  She writes the monthly “Ask Rosalind” column in Family Circle magazine, and is regular contributor to several blogs and websites. Also, Rosalind is a spokesperson for LG’s Text-Education Council that aims to inform parents about responsible monitoring of teen cell phone usage. Each year Rosalind works with tens of thousands of students, educators, parents, counselors, coaches, and administrators to create communities based on the belief that each person has a responsibility to treat themselves and others with dignity. In 2011, she was one of the principal speakers at the White House Summit on Bullying.  Other audiences have included the American School Counselors Association, International Chiefs of Police, American Association of School Administrators, and countless schools throughout the U.S. and abroad. National media regularly depends on Rosalind as the expert on ethical leadership, media literacy, and bullying prevention.  She is a consultant for Cartoon Network’s Speak Up, Stop Bullying campaign. She is a frequent guest on the Today Show, Anderson Cooper 360 and Dateline.  She has been profiled in The New York Times, People, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, USA Today, Oprah, Nightline, CNN, Good Morning America, and National Public Radio affiliates throughout the country. Rosalind holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Occidental College. She lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and two sons.

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