How to keep my DD from being boy crazy and growin up too fast

livvysmomSeptember 27, 2007

Two incidents concern me. During the summer my children (girls 5 and 7) told me a friend's son (age 8 1/2) showed them his "thingy" while I was babysitting him (I was literally one room away making popcorn while they were watching a movie). I asked them if they showed him anything -- my 5 yo did not, my 7 yo was guilty. I asked if anyone did any touching and she told no way (very discustedly). Anyhow I went nuts on her -- told her I soooo disappointed in her judgement and how I have over and over told her her "privates" were not for others to see etc... I know you are supposed to remain calm, but it seemed as though she was pretty nonchalant about the whole thing until I yelled. So, she really seemed to understand and learn from the incident.

Today, she told me a boy ran up to her at recess and kissed her cheek. She told the teacher on duty and ended up having to talk to her own teacher and the principal about it. They asked her how she "felt" about it and she said "...weird. It would be ok if I were 20 or something." My DD said he asked her yesterday if he could kiss her and she said no. Apparently the same boy did this to a different girl yesterday but she never told. I really praised her for telling an adult because the boy will not learn that it is inappropriate unless she brought it to their attention.

Anyhow, other things have me concerned. Like how she told my mother that "five boys in my class like me." My mother told me I will really have my hands full with her someday because of this statement and the fact that my DD is very pretty.

One other thing that bothers me -- my DD loves to dance but sometimes does it almost in a sexy manner. She does take jazz and ballet and has seen the older girls perform similiarly but it can be quite embarressing. I told her one time to dance "nice" but she had no idea what I was talking about.

I try to limit her TV viewing but she enjoys shows like Zack and Cody and Hannah Montana. Those shows do talk about crushes and boys; all her girlfriends watch these shows but any kind of kissing on TV makes a huge impression on her.

I just wish my little girl was just interested in Disney princesses again.

What can I do short of keeping her in a bubble?

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I think you know the basic answer to can't PREVENT her from liking boys, or getting crushes. BUT you can teach her that boys are not the beginning and end all of her life. That she HAS TO have a boy in her life for her life to be complete. My daughter's favorite line in high school when asked if she had a boyfriend by aunts and uncles was....I DON'T HAVE A BOY IN MY LIFE BECAUSE I WON'T BE HAVING A BOY TELL ME WHAT TO DO, AND EVEN IF I DID HAVE A BOY IN MY LIFE HE WOULDN'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO! (all said with a southern accent for some reason...we're from Minnesota, go figure!). My girls did NOT jump from boyfriend to boyfriend (one has yet to have a serious boyfriend at 20). They are VERY independent. They are equals to boys. They are headstrong, which is a possible torn off to some boys, the the "NO BOYS IN MY LIFE" daughter is engaged to be married at 26. And no he does not tell her what to do...okay he tries, but has learned that she will be independent, and they are equals.

So she must not have ever had anyone say "watch her" as your mother did....very wrong, she is very pretty. Tall, thin, etc. So how'd I not keep her in a bubble. WE'D TALK about things. CALMLY (okay I'd try to be calm sometimes). But try to use some for teaching. Plus we live by example...again not that she picked all our examples to follow. We also had rules. No single dating until 16, group dating at 15 was OK. Etc. A boy kissed you huh. Hmmm how was it, yucky huh, wet...ya, it is something that whey your older and ready you will like, but until then it is not something Mom and Dad want you to do, so you need to tell that boy DO NOT KISS ME. You need to tell a person in charge too, but you also need to stand up for yourself.

Will my daughter be a virgin on her wedding night NO, she has a 5 year old (her fiance's). Was I a perfect mother..oh he11 no, but I tried. I wanted that bubble too, but you can't have it. Trust me, there are so many other worries out there that you have to find your battles. The goal you really want is for your daughter to become a CONFIDENT, CARING, COMPENTENT person. So talk about issues. Dance specific. When you dance by pushing your stomach out towards a person like that, I know it is how some people dance right now, but it is what is called "dancing sexy". And is not how a 7 year old should dance. I don't think it is how anyone should dance really. Why, because...then start a discussion on it. Be specific with your reasons. "Dance Nice" made no sense to her, so tell her what "Not Nice" is. Don't be afraid to use words.

She saw a boys penis, "Okay you saw Danny's penis, That was wrong, you know we've talked about that. I know you were curious about what they looked like, but you should have come to me and we could have talked about this and I would have showed you from a book what they look like"..then start that discussion. By freaking out you make her a little less likely to tell her next time (only a little, you didn't damage her for life). So what do you say when someone wants to show you their penis...NO, I DO NOT WANT TO SEE IT..give her power words.

Sorry this got so long.

Good Luck


    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 7:41AM
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First of all you over reacted when your daughter told you about exposing herself to the should have calmly told her..."Nice girls don't show their private parts to others...and Jimmy was being very rude to show you his". By going ballistic you added enormous importance to the issue. Children without other sex siblings are naturally curious.
As for the boy that kissed her on the cheek, a few years back that would be just called teasing and a prank...I think things have gotten a bit out of hand by making a big deal out of a quick smack on the cheek in second grade.
Kids that age talk about "liking" a boy or a boy "liking" them....that's just what they do. By you making a big deal out of it you will reinforcing that sort of behaviou.
When my daughter was in 2nd grade, I drove a bunch of little girls every week to an activity...think it was children's church choir. One of the girls was in 4th grade and very boy crazy. And her parents helped her grow up....she wore a bra even though there was nothing to put in it and had a fall,,,,one of those hair attachments. And she and another girl her age were constantly talking about whow as going with who and who broke up with and who asked who my opinion something not suitable for 4th graders. I learned a lot in a mile and a half every week!!
But I took the opportunity to ask my daughter..."Where does Jolie and her boyfriends go?" She said nowhere....and I pointed out how silly all that talk was...and how silly it was for her to be pinning a long piece of hair to her head that may fall off on the playground!
Anyhow, by the time they were 17, Jolie was middle aged...fat, dumpy...certainly not the belle of the ball and not a prom queen.
As for the dancing....that's what she sees at dance class....and as one who has a grand daughter who has taken dance for 14 years, that's what they do. Ignore it.
You can't hide the world from her....all you can do is teach her to cope with it.
And outside of the exposing herself, I see nothing alarming in her bahavior. Likely she will have a lot of boyfriends, or a lot of boys wanting to be her boyfriend. That's not bad, in fact that's good! But she will need to know how to behave....and screaming and over reacting to certain behavior will only lend it importance.
Linda C

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 12:45PM
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I actually agree with the other two posters. You were wrong to go ballistic on your daughter.By doing that,you are making her feel guilty for having NORMAL sexual curiousity. Which could effect her later in life by her either rebelling and doing that on purpose,or by having guilt feelings and thinking sex is wrong.
A calm manner would have been the better way to go,and explaining that SEX/Sexual behavior should only happen between two people who LOVE each other and only when she is
grown enough to handle it.(Preferably not before age 16)

I do think most people I know have done something like this as children.Usually harmless curiousity of "I'll show you mine if you show me yours".
My daughter only isnt that curious because all she has are boy cousins,so she HAS seen boy genitals before and has no interest.
The dancing also pretty normal.My daughter who is almost ten also parades around sometimes,probably something she got from Britney Spears or Hilary Duff,or an of these young starlets they see on tv.I do not think the children have any "awareness" that they are in fact,"acting" in a sexy manner.They are simply little imulators mocking what they see adults doing.
Fact is,there isnt much to read or see on the topic of female sexual awareness growing up.But it is VERY normal.
as one of the other posters said,you cant hide her from the world.You can only teach her how to handle it in a proper manner.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 3:23AM
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Thanks for the replies. I thought having two kids in diapers was tough. This is just as tough but for different reasons. I just don't want to screw it up.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 12:52AM
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I have a 7 y/o DD, too. But she has three brothers, two older (14 and 11) and one younger 5). When DD has friends over to play they are often fascinated by the older brothers and their friends who might be here, especially my 11 y/o.

I subbed in a 2nd grade class last week. My 11 y/o came to the room to meet me at the end of the day. The 3-4 girls still in the room were instantly little flirts! I didn't know they had it in them, but they wanted to be right next to DS, snuggled up to let him read stories to them, show him their "cheerleading" routine. I told people about it later, it was a phenomenon I had never seen before.

And I have talked about this phase of girlhood with other moms of young girls. My DD is one of the minority who is not at all boy crazy. The thing she has in common with the other girls in that group is that they all have older brothers (older seems to make a difference). Between DD's brothers and their friends who are here all the time, DD has an immunity or something. LOL. Boys are not a new mystery to her, they are an extremely annoying fact of life. She doesn't see them as cute and charming, she sees them at their worst. She just can't seem to convince her friends that boys are really just mean and stinky and generally "not all that."

The other thing I've talked about with other moms is how annoying it is when adults notice a pretty little girl and only comment on that trait. I try really hard not to do that, especially in front of the girl. Some of us make a point, when we hear someone say our daughters are pretty, to say "Thank you. You should see how well she writes." Or reads, or play soccer, or piano, or how kind and caring she is, or how funny she is, etc. Especially in front of our daughters. There is too much around young girls that reinforces the idea that their value in life is in getting the attention of boys.

I think with the private parts exposure, you should just calmly tell your DD that should never happen again. That the boy was not funny when he did that, it was rude behavior. I might also ask her how it made her feel, pick up on the "weird" part of what she might say and say that's whey it's rude, it makes other people feel weird. I also really think I'd tell the boy's parents. Not in an accusatory way, but b/c I think they should know. Maybe it's something they've dealt with before with him, and they need to know it's still happening. Even as if it's the first time he's done it, they need to know so they can have a conversation with him. Not b/c I want him punished or to make a big deal of it, but for 100 reasons, I just think I would give another parent a "heads up" on that kind of behavior. I absolutely agree it's probably innocent and within the range of normal, but a parent should still be informed. If a kid has fun with the response he/she gets from showing private parts, he/she might be encouraged to try it again and maybe take it farther next time.

As for the dancing, I think the next time I had my DD in the car alone I'd start a conversation about dancing. How she likes to dance, why she likes to dance that way, and how sometimes in life what's OK for adults is not OK for kids. From dancing and clothes to certain drinks and certain words. Then when I saw her dancing that way again, I'd remind her "we talked about that, that's a grown up dance, not a kid's dance."

I'll confide, I think little girls are encouraged, in subtle ways and sometimes not so subtle, by our culture to behave much older. From their clothes, to music, to toys even. It's not right that 6 y/o girls are encouraged to emmulate a 16 y/o young woman. I cringe at the latest Barbie commercials for products that come with pretend credit cards for pretend shopping sprees. I even say outloud w/my kids in the room "That is so wrong!" Maybe I'm a little freaky, but I am picky about the dolls I let DD have. I think she should play with dolls that that look and act like little girls. Not ones who wear make-up, mini-skirts, high heels, and shop and have boyfriends. I choose books for her about girls who are fun, strong, and smart, and make sure she learns about real women to look up to for their accomplishments.

I have no tolerance for relatives or family friends who tease any of my kids about having a boyfriend or girlfriend. I remember how that felt as a young kid and teen. It's embarrassing and feels invasive. My mother would never do that, but I have some aunts and adult cousins who think it's funny. As soon as I hear it I just say "Come on, that's not nice." and to my kids "You do not have to answer that." And change the subject to something my kids are happy and proud to talk about, like the latest "A" in school or score in sports.

Oh, and you're so right about the job being harder in a new way as the kids get older. It was physically exhausting when they were little, with feeding, cleaning up, diapers, etc. Now, it's emotionally and intellectually exhausting, trying to stay ahead of the next hurdle. I tell people I think the job of parenting changes when your kids reach an age which you remember being. Make sense? I remember small things that happened when I was 7, 11 and especially 14 and how those small things stuck with me, for better or worse. So I am conscious of how my choices and responses will stick with my kid who are that age now.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 9:30AM
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Wow,great post stephanie in ga! I totally agree with everything you said.
I too long for those simpler diaper days...Girl drama is a lot to handle sometimes!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 10:36PM
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