J.L. asks from Bedford, NH on March 05, 2009
Advice on Boy Crazy 6 1/2 Year Old
OK moms, I am in desperate need of help! My 1st grader is obsessed with boys right now. Not so much when my husband or I are around, but when she is talking to her friends at school, dance, on the bus, etc. For example, a few weeks ago, I had picked up her dance teacher and we were driving to class and she says "Oh, Miss Danielle, I have a boyfriend...." and goes on to tell her all about him, matter-of-fact like, as if I was already aware of it! So I listened, asked questions, and made it clear that it was appropriate for a 6 1/2 year old to have a "boyfriend", etc....
I then hear from her teacher that she is talking about her "boyfriend" at circle time at school! Of which the teacher made it clear that it was not ok to have boy/girlfriends at their age, etc.....
Today I get a note home that she wasn't able to finish her work at school, as "she was apparently more interested in speaking to the boys behind her, than finishing her work.
My daughter is a very smart little girl, gets above average grades at school. I am just at a loss. She knows it's not ok, and continues to engage in the behavior. HELP!
R.K. answers from Springfield on March 06, 2009
She sounds like the typical 6-7 yr old girl...boy crazy! I don't think there is anything wrong w/ that I would just talk to her about doing her class work and less talking during class. My son was coming home w/ tons of work in Jan. because he wasn't doing his work and I sent a note in to his teacher requesting that if he didn't complete his morning school work than he shouldnt be going out to play in the snow so for a few days he missed his morning recess but hasn't since because he realized if he didn't do his work he would be staying indoors I would suggest that to the teacher that way her work gets done and she learns that there is a time for play and chit chat and a time for work and if you don't do your work you don't get to play. My now 7 yr old didn't really seem to care about taking his work home and completing it after school but your daughter sounds like a social butterfly like my son so I bet she will miss recess.
D.S. answers from Boston on March 06, 2009
i was wondering what is so bad about having a boyfriend at 6 1/2? What do you think "having a boyfriend" at this age means? Is it the same as your daughter sees in it?
Also, if she is already really drawn to sociallising particularly with boys, you saying that that is inappropriate is unlikely to change her desire and behaviour. Maybe you can explore what it is you are afraid of exactly? You could share that with her, instead of demanding her to act against her impulses. Perhaps you are loading the issue with your own fears and dislikes more than necessary -- is she really "boy crazy"? Maybe she is just playing "i have a boyfriend", just like my son likes to play "i am a chef and sautee fish for you" without me actually having to worry about salmonella. She sure does not sound "boy crazy" to me, just nice and normal.
R.F. answers from Boston on March 06, 2009
I think for some kids this can be very normal. I myself remember having a boyfriend at that age. he and I went to the movies together & were pretty much inseperable on the playground. I may even still have the letter he wrote me that when we grew up he was going to take me away on his motorcycle & we would get married. I also remember both sets of our parents & the teacher thinking it was no big deal. the teacher even gave us a "wedding" but at the end I refused to kiss him in front of all the other kids. we "broke up" in 3rd grade but stayed close friends until I dated one of his guy friends in highschool. It really was my first crush and totally harmless. I am now 38 yrs old, have been married for 14 years and have a 5 yr old boy who considers his best friend one of the girls in his class.
D.F. answers from Boston on March 05, 2009
I see nothing wrong with your little girl. So...she likes boys. As far as you have told us.......she is a smart chatty kathy, most girls are. She seems like a delightful outgoing little girl. I wouldn't change a thing. Well maybe curb the talking in school, but good luck with that!
T.F. answers from Boston on March 06, 2009
I think that your concerns are normal but to some degree, so is her behavior. First, I would try to think back to when you were her age and when you had your first "boyfriend". Mine was when I was 7 or 8 but that meant you'd smile at each other, sneak tic tac toe notes and always choose one another first for monkey bar races (and I did like boys before that). It was very innocent. And just because she's interested, it doesn't necessarily mean that she'll be an early bloomer (although she could)...I was very a late one!
What I would focus on is that she learns to prioritize social activities and school activities and learn when it's appropriate to discuss personal things. It sounds a lot like she's trying to practice at being grown-up.
Another suggestion is that you may want to take a look at her external influences (maybe you already have). I'm not saying keep her completely isolated - it wouldn't be possible and she'd resent it. However, maybe you should watch a few episodes of whatever show it is that you allow her to watch. Many of the kids shows today have older children who are dealing with "relationships". She may be modeling what she sees. Same goes for music (the lyrics can be really inappropriate sometimes). Anyway, I'd recommend that you participate in some of these activities with her and then discuss it with her. Take advantage of the fact that you have a lot more influence over her now than you will when she's a teen. If you talk about what you liked that you saw, what you didn't like and what could've been done differently, those impresssions will stay with her when she's older and making decisions for herself.
Good luck to you! My two are each a year behind yours so hopefully you'll find some advice that works for you and then you can give it back to me next year when I start to worry about the same thing :)