Couples Counsellor and Relationship Therapist

Playing at dating – What’s appropriate for kids and what isn’t?

Johannesburg-based relationships counsellor Michael Kallenbach says although it is important for parents to set boundaries, children playing at relationships is usually just another game of pretend.

“Just as children play pretend-nurse and doctor, or patient and doctor so they will also act out playing girlfriend and boyfriend. They will obviously have seen family members or friends who are in such relationships so naturally they will have imaginings of what someone does if they are a in a romantic relationship and what that entails,” says Michael.

“I think it’s always best for parents to be up front and honest with their children. Nothing wrong with telling them about the birds and the bees, for instance, and also explaining that not all couples are male and female – that society comprises of different things today and it’s good to respect people for the choices they have made,” says Michael.

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