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For everyone who had a crush on a schoolmate. Bad news.

Primary schools have put a ban on ten-year-olds dating.

I learnt a scary thing about ten-year-olds this morning.

Scarier than the fact they can hack an iPhone in ten minutes. Scarier than the fact a male version can eat a loaf of bread in one sitting.

I learnt that ten year olds are dating.

Am I naïve? Has this been happening for a while? Because frankly I was a little shocked.

I still have four years before my eldest son is ten. He can’t yet tie his shoelaces. I still have to help him cut things with his knife at dinner, and he will still happily watch an episode of Dora the Explorer if his two-year-old sister is in the room.

He can easily swim a 25m lap of a pool, but he still calls me “Mama” with a complete lack of self-consciousness.

I’m aware this won’t last.

I’m aware that his need to hold my hair when he is feeling nervous will probably be gone by the end of this year. That I will soon become ‘Mum’ and that it’s not long before he glances around to see which mates are watching before he kisses me goodbye.

But is it really only four years until he is dating? Four years until I have to worry about what is going on behind closed doors? Because I tell you, I am not at all ready for that.

Are ten year olds really dating?

I learnt this startling fact from the new rules set by a Sydney Primary School about the appropriate age for ‘boyfriend/girlfriend relations’.

The Northern Beaches Christian School has taken a stand on what they see as the “sexualisation” of young children by setting rules around primary students becoming boyfriends and girlfriends.

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“This sexualisation at a young age was not something the majority of parents supported,” principal Stephen Harris told the Manly Daily.

“The school responded to the issue with the head of primary, Peter Grimes, telling year five students there should be no discussions of girlfriends and boyfriends.”

The paper has reported that parents have been told to keep a close eye on their nine, ten and eleven-year-olds.

Mr Grimes also told parents in the school newsletter “to forbid certain activities and never allow their child to close the bedroom door when someone of the opposite sex was visiting,” Mr Harris told the Manly Daily.

It is difficult to find research on the average age of ‘first dates’. A British report from way back in 2007 quotes 15 as the average age for a first kiss. I imagine with the dawn of the iGeneration and the easily found proliferation of information on the internet, this much earlier now.

Today schools are banning dating at the age of ten. This brings up a whole other minefield of questions I don’t really want to think about.

What does ‘dating’ for ten year olds entail these days?

Are these ten year olds kissing their boyfriend/ girlfriend?

And will they get girls germs if they do?

Over to you with this one. What do you think of this ban? Is it appropriate? Are kids even dating at the age of ten? Or is it just innocent child’s play taken out of context?

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