I have a neighbor, we’ll call her K, who has 3 daughters (~8, 5, 3?). Before my son (11mo) was born, I would always notice that she makes remarks about her kids having “boyfriends” in the neighborhood, and sometimes making jokes about things they would do that, to me, seemed inappropriate. For example, her youngest daughter and a 2 year old neighbor boy were getting dressed for the pool and she saw his penis and made some kind of comment and K said “Curious about them already, huh!? Lol!” She calls that little boy her daughter’s “boyfriend” and she and the boy’s mom always get them to hug because they think it’s cute.
K also couples her daughters with men in the neighborhood by saying “E said you’re her boyfriend!” or “E, is that your boyfriend over there?” about GROWN MEN.
Recently, we saw them in the park and she made a comment about how my son is cute and got one of her daughters to say he’s cute. Then, she said “Tell M (my husband) he’s cute, too!” And the little girl didn’t want to, and K thought it was funny.
I like K and I know she just thinks it’s cute, but I absolutely do not. People used to do that to me when I was a kid and it led to a life of thinking I needed to have a boyfriend or a crush all the time. I don’t want my son growing up being told he’s someone’s boyfriend, and I feel sick to my stomach when K says things about the men in our neighborhood being her girls’ “boyfriends.”
Again, I know it’s a cutsie thing she’s trying to do (I’m not worried about the girls’ safety or anything) but I’m looking for advice on how to tell her I don’t want my family to involved in that kind of joking.