My daughters entered life as different creatures when it came to the opposite sex. One whom the attention of boys meant a lot, the other, well, it did not. I can’t say what created the difference, perhaps just their personalities because they came from the same gene pool.
Since I was never one who was boy crazy, I found it quite perplexing, feeling uncertain how to address this new frontier. My elder daughter just liked the attention of boys. She wasn’t necessarily attached to them. In fact, we often said she discarded boys as one does a tissue in allergy season. I often felt sorry for those young men who showed up on our doorstep with such optimism.
But in those years, it concerned me. Was this going to be a problem? Was this seeming desire one that would create more difficult issues as she grew toward adulthood? The answer to those questions is sometimes yes, and it is most often no.
Girls do like boys and the attention they can offer. This fact is not a big deal. Some girls tend to like boys a whole lot. Moms just have to step back and take a balanced look at how to deal with that reality.
Let me share with you what I learned:
1. Do not make this a big deal!
We spoke of this reality freely within our family, but usually in a fun, lighthearted manner. As long as the other parts of her life were in balance, school, extra-curricular activities, faith, friends, we determined she was ok.
2. Our home became the place to be.
If she was going to have these walking hormones in her life, as much as possible, it would be in our home. We provided a welcoming, comfortable family room setting for them to hang, and we would periodically and without warning visit said location.
3. Involve her in opportunities to build her future.
While she’s busy flirting with the opposite sex, she also needs to be occupied with discovering her talents and passions. From outside activities, education choices, and even volunteer work, it is vital that she unearths her life road that is separate from the current boy on her radar. One that will give her independence to live her life with or without that life partner.
4. Keep dad anchored in her life.
These are hard years for dads. The little girl who used to crawl into his lap is now breezing past him to open the door for a creature he is entirely suspicious of (rightfully so). Make sure there is the time for just the two of them, from minutes alone in the car to a date night with dad. If she doesn’t have that dad, find an uncle, grandfather or family friend you trust. Every girl (especially one who is enamored with boys) needs a healthy adult male relationship to use as a barometer for every other male that enters her life.
5. Take heart; this too will pass.
More often than not this is a season of discovery. One that a girl is testing the waters to see how these relationships look and feel. To see if she can gain the attention of the opposite sex. The transition will come with a desire to build a healthy relationship, one that becomes a lasting partnership.
The truth I discovered is even though my daughter seemed superficial in many of her infatuations, her feelings were real. Had I countered them, dismissed them, or ridiculed them, it would have been harmful to her. She was exploring her emotions toward the opposite sex in a way that was right for her.
So, moms, don’t freak out; don’t panic. The boy-crazy girls in your life may not be as crazy as you think. Ride this wave with them and the parade of young men you may see or even just hear about. Like potty-training, multiplication tables, and middle school hormonal swings, this too will end.
For more encouragement in your “momming”:
Why Girls Aren’t Just “Drama” and How to Raise a Strong One
How to Be a #Girlmom
10 Reasons Why You Should Fight Your Inner Mama Bear
5 Ways to Make Parenting Your Strong-Willed Child Easier
Why You Need to Talk to Your Teen Girl About Sex and How to Do It
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