10Yo Preteen Girl - Loves Attention & Flirting with Boys?

Updated on July 14, 2010
M.R. asks from Wheeling, IL
7 answers

Hi Mamas,

I've read through so many questions and answers and haven't really found the answers I'm looking for so, here it goes. I have a great 10yo daughter. She really is a good kid and a great student but there are some things that have started to bother me. I'm always told that she is very mature for her age. She speaks very maturely, acts older than 10 and she is developing way too fast for me. Maybe her little hormones are starting to go crazy. The first thing is that she loves to be the center of attention when she is with a group of kids. She is the loudest, the goofiest, the most wild/obnoxious. I even see kids sometimes give her a strange look. Really, she should just hold up a sign that says "Look at ME". I could almost tolerate this as I don't want to squash her childhood goofiness but then comes in issue 2. She behaves this way with any group of kids but when there are boys around, it's in overdrive. The flirting, the acting/talking more like a boy than a girl, the seeking attention from boys really bothers me. Actually, it really makes me angry. I don't want her to get her self esteem boost from boys, but that seems like what is happening. I mentioned this to her teacher and she said that she didn't notice anything abnormal in school. I'm not looking for advice saying she needs more attention from her dad as I'm very confident that she gets enough attention him. He is actively involved in coaching her sports activities, she goes with him to run errands or for small outings all the time. We talk all the time about things that are going on. I'm terrified that this need to be noticed by boys will lead to early sexual activity and turn me into a grandma way too early. The interest in boys was cute at age 4, cute in Kindergarten and even kind of cute in 2nd grade but going into 5th grade, it's really making me worry. I want her to impress herself, not others. To get her motivation from herself not from others. To be whatever she wants to be and not take a poll in school asking kids what they think she should be. Really...it happened. I know, maybe I'm stressing too much. Can anyone relate, ease my worries or give me some good ideas? Thanks!

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers



answers from Chicago on

I think she just likes the attention and figured out one way to get it from other people, including boys. Show/tell her about other ways people get noticed, tell her about inner beauty, deeds, character, brains, etc. I think she is experimenting at this point. Just have these conversations often and not when she has the behavior.
Another thing, as I remember myself this age, to get attention from boys is much easier than from girls, and it is sort of a quick fix to feel good about yourself :) Have a talk with her and explain that her behavior (she probably thinks is very innocent, I sertainly did) may be interpreted differently by boys/young men and that a girl needs to be careful to avoid putting herself into awkward situation or starting rumors. She may understand that reasoning.
Another idea, I teach that to my son, just a lot of exersises in self-control, good for boys and girls. As their hormones fluctuate kids get excited for no reason and sometimes in a very unusual situations, it is good to teach the kid to apply internal brakes when they are crossing the line (sometimes my son knows where that line is and sometimes I have to point it out, we have a special sighn for that).
I think it is great that her dad is involved as well.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Keep an eye on it, but try not to stress too much about it. How about Girl Scouts? She's going to have a lot of finding herself in middle and high school. Teens go back and forth about caring what the peer group thinks - so do you best to make sure she has a good peer group. Get her involved in a church youth group or something like that. I was a tomboy growing up. The guys who were my friends considered me to be one of the guys, and thinking about me as a girl scared them more than anything else.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

In my opinion I think your doing all that you can. But I would just keep preeching that confidence needs to come from within herself and not from other's, and that being a young child is something that she need's to enjoy and cherish. I think that it's more of a phase that she's going through, I have an 11 year old daughter and alot of her friends act the same way, thankfully my daughter has'nt reached that phase yet. And i'm sure that when or if she does that I will probably be on hear asking for advice too! I love that she is into sports because that always keep's a childs mind busy. I still think that it is kind of hard to really explain boy's to a 10 year old, but i'm sure she will be fine. Another thing is how are the other girl's that she hangs around? Maybe she see's them trying to get attention as well and feels the need to do the same? I hope I was some help for you, but i'm sure everything will be just fine and it seems like you are very involved with her. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Yep..I can relate! My 10 year old boy has already started puberty too. I looked it up and this is quite normal. Puberty can start at the age of 10 through 14. I was a late bloomer (age 14) so I was very surprised. Once my son said that he is in love...I had a one on one talk with him! I am a type of parent that is a straight shooter and tell them how it is. He had questions and I answered them truthfully. I think honesty is the best policy. The early you talk with them the easier it gets for me. I explained the changes he's feeling is quite normal...and when I read your note...I think it's normal too. But, I would talk to your daughter if I were you. Attension is ok but it's how you do it. You can get attension from peers when you are a little more sutle.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

talk talk talk talk talk. Ask questions, listen, DON'T JUDGE. Don't get angry, and don't let her know how worried you are, it will only make her MORE self-conscious and more attention seeking. I was fairly boy crazy at an early age, although I didn't develop early. But my mom and I talked a lot of love and relationships, and I was actually one of the last virgins around after high school graduation, waiting until it felt right.

You can't force her into being self-motivated, you can't make her stop wanting attention. But you can create an atmosphere of acceptance and support, so that she's more likely to talk her feelings through with you and make good choices when she needs to. Take lots of deep breaths and try to stay calm as she enters this phase, which is totally par for the course, this is what most adolescents do. It's HER challenge to navigate it and find her footing, not yours, and you need to be her net to fall into. Just love her and listen to her, be her sounding board and support, you'll all be OK.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

It sounds like she and her dad have a great relation ship, perhaps you should use this in your advantage, what have dad tell her about boys?
I think is a combination between what other girls are doing and what she have just found her self (that she can have the attention of boys by flirting)
My approach is different then the other moms. I wasn't afraid to get in her business (that is my job until she is older) I was very clear that she is not allow to have a boyfriend.
When she was around 9 she was friend of a 11 year old neighbor. The girl was very loud too, and my daughter told me that she thinks that boys like loud and crazy girls. I told her that some may do, but that boys a that age are very immature, and they will make cry many girls.
My daughter now she is 12, and she nows she would be in big trouble if she dates now. However a this age, I talk to her more about boys,many of her friends have or have had boyfriends and we talk about what happen, and what mistakes she thinks her friends do, and what kind of boyfriend she thinks is best (is best to look for hansom or smart or funny, etc) I told her as she grows and study and mature she is getting a better human being and that when she grows and have a boy friend she can ask for one that has it all (hansom, smart, funny, mature, etc) because she will have it all too.


answers from New York on

Dont stress too much, just enough. If shes teasing and flirting in a sexual way you need to have a talk with her. She should know how boys respond to this behavior, what the consequences are she may get attention that she really isn't looking for. Kids this age flirt. They just need to know whats appropriate. They need to protect their reputations and their bodies. As girls grow up sometimes moms feel threatened. Make sure you are seeing things clearly. This is a tough age. Kids do have sex this young, we need to teach them to respect themselves as well as others.

Next question: 3 Year Old Daughter Is Self-stimulating