Daughter Who Thinks She NEEDS a Boyfriend

Updated on December 16, 2006
C.R. asks from Muncie, IN
16 answers

My daughter just turned 11 years old in October. She has recently started showing interest in having a boyfriend. She says that all of her friends have boyfriends, which I don't believe they do or even are allowed to.

She wanted an email account so I finally set her one up about 3 weeks ago. I only allow her to get online for a short period of time and only if her homework is finished. I also have her password.

She is growing so maturely that it scares me. She is getting breasts, wears a 36 A bra, has lots of pubic and underarm hair, started shaving last year, but still has not started her period. I'm sure it will be anytime.

So, I guess my question is, what do I tell her about having a boyfriend? I have told her that she isn't old enough to have a boyfriend, but feel like I'm being mean or unfair to her. Help!

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answers from Indianapolis on

my daughter went through the same thing. I have found that regardless to what I say they will still have a boyfriend. The good thing is that at that age it is usually just at school. and all they do is call each other boyfriend and girl friend and mabye hold hands. even now that my daughter is 15 I allow her to have a boyfriend but she can only see him at school, and he can come over the house as long as I am home. I don't think boyfriends are a bad thing as long as they know the rules and understand the good things and the bad things that can come with a relationdship.



answers from Lexington on

She is way to young to have real bf. and she is blossoming very early. Sounds to me like it might be time for "the talk". just tell her the same thing my mom told me...no dating till high school...no car dates till i was 16 and you have to meet the boy before she can leave the house with him.
I had me 1st "boyfriend" in 5th grade...we never held hands, barely spoke, only talked on the phone like twice. but we were "going together"...haha what a joke. i didn't have a real BF until i was 15.

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answers from Evansville on

Could it be that your daughter thinks she needs a boyfriend b/c all the pre-teens on TV have boyfriends and they are seen as beautiful and "cool?" My daughter is still too young for this issue to pop up but I teach a bible study for high school age girls. I encourage them not to date until they meet a man that they think they are going to marry. The reason is b/c a girl's emotions do funny things when they are alone with a boy. Almost every woman I talk to has many regrets because they dated too young and they did some immature things with the other sex. I hope your daughter doesn't get caught up in the lie that dating around and fooling around with guys is fun and exciting. Until "Mr. Right" comes around, perhaps she can hang out with a group of guys and girls and just enjoy being young.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

At her age boyfriends begin to happen, but my experience is their definition of boyfriend is vastly different then our idea. A boyfriend to an 11yr old is someone who is their exclusive person in school, but there is not much contact outside of school. My middle school daughter has had supossed boy friend since elememtry, but they never called the house or spent any time together outside of school. Good luck.



answers from Detroit on


First off...you are not being mean. She may think so but that's because she's not a parent. However telling her she isn't old enough may not be enough to deter her from having or wanting a boyfriend. Unless however you have explained to her why.

At that age kids don't understand all of the emotion that goes along with having a boyfriend. I would try explaining to her what it means to have a boyfriend, and deffinately explain to her that sex is not something you HAVE to do to prove yourself to anyone. Kids these days seem to be way ahead of their time when it comes to sex. Even when I was 11 I knew girls and boys who had already been sexually active before they were 13. Sounds scary right? But lets face it...no matter how closely you monitor your kids they'll find a way to get away with things when you aren't looking. We all did it even if it in some form...smoking, drinking, hanging out with a friend parents didn't like.

I think it would be better for both of you if you have a long long long discussion about sex and what it means. Not just the physical/clynical aspect but the personal and emotional side too. Especially since she's going through puberty. Then you need to explain to her about the responsibilities that come along with sex, safe practices, pregnancy etc. As uncomfortable as it sounds it may help you sleep better knowing that she understands that this really is a big deal and that you aren't just being mean...you are looking out for her.

I remember going to a youth discussion at church. It was actually very helpful. It was led by some sort of puclic speakers who talked about a lot of things dealing with relationships and sexual encounters (too much to get into). You could look into something like that. I actually found it very helpful. I think it's just easier to listen to someone else about things like that rather than hearing it from a parent because they'll give examples and life experiences and sometimes parents aren't comfortable letting their children know about certain things.

Hope all goes well....



answers from Lafayette on

You're not being mean...you're looking out for her best interest. It may be hard for her to understand now, but one day she will have kids of her own and they will be 11 and she'll know why you said that.



answers from Fort Wayne on

I would tell her that even though other girls have boyfriends that isn't the way it is in your houseold. There are rules and set down and tell the rules you and her father have. I have a 13 year old teenager,I really understand what you are going though. On her computer you can limit her account to where she has to approve things though you and your husband. Kids are going to have puppy love and you just got to preach about abstanence and keep trying to talk to her. Between the three of you come up with a age dating can start and stick to it. Don't give up, try saying things like you can have friends but not boyfriends you are to young.



answers from Wheeling on

Hi C.,

My name is M. and I have a 10 year old daughter and a 17 year old daughter. I feel your pain. Anyway, the boy friend thing...This is my advice...If you tell her an outright no she may rebel against you because she has the thought that this is acceptable at this age...how ever if you question her about what she thinks it means to have a boyfriend you may find that it is just a title the girls carry around at school about a boy they are best friends with...My 10 year old has had a boyfriend this year it lasted for about 2 weeks and all the girls hung out on the playground at lunch and chased all the boys around playing tag...It is all very innocent at this age and her response was that it was dumb to have a boyfriend because everybody just hangs out with everybody else. She never even ask if she could call him on the phone. As long as she knows what your expectations of the situation are then she should be fine. Always remember the only way to teach our children responsibility is to let them make choices and hope and prey they screw up so that we can teach them the better choices for the future. Good luck I hope it all works out for you. Hugs M.



answers from Lexington on

I have 2 daughters and what I did in the boyfriend front is I set the rule no dating until 16 years old and no single dating until I felt comfortable with the situation. Needless to say my oldest had to go on group dates for about the first year.

My youngest is 12 years old and she has her first crush...the boy is 18 years old so we have had alot of talks about how special a first crush can be and how intense she may be feeling but that it is innapropriate for her to be spending any time alone with this boy. I keep telling her that he is too old for her and that she has to watch her behavior around this boy. The boy and I have talked in general and he has stated that he thinks of my daughter as his little sister....he calls her brat. I stated to him that my daughter is too young to be serious about a boy at this time and he agreed with me. He is careful not to be alone with her and I respect him for that.
I do believe if you haven't already, you need to have a sit down on the consquences of dating...the intense emotional toll dating can have...sex and the consquences of that...not just about pregnancy but the STD's which can be deadly...and about pregnancy...about how boys use love to get sex and girls use sex to get love, and then the boy moves on and that boys brag about sexual conquests and how would she feel if people began to talk about her and called her names....be honest about how you felt at her age...she'll never believe you were ever as young as she is...lol...but try.

Most likely at this age it's just a thing that they say when at school and it doesn't go any further but it's better you try and open the lines of communication now while she still has half an ear for you then when she is in love and nothing will get through.

Good luck with this!!!



answers from Indianapolis on

By the time I was 11 I was getting well ahead of my freinds in body development and wanted a boyfriend too. I remember my first one because we agreed to be boyfriend girlfriend through one of those "check yes or no" notes and then didn't speak to each other until we broke up a week later. Maybe if she gets a taste of that she'll decide she wants nothing to do with boys (LoL)!
I remember being 12 or 13 and having my first make out session at the movies with my first "Real" boyfriend, which by the way also lasted about a month before I decided he was gross and I didn't like him. I think the one thing my dad did that helped as a parent was always knowing who I was with and where I was, if I spent the night with a friend he had to talk to their parents (which was a real drag back then)and if we went anywhere, movies etc, my dad also had to talk to my friends parents. Again.
I would encourage her to realize that boys are really not all that cool, but don't be too "anti" her having an interest. I think at her age she's more curious than anything, and honestly if she has a shot at it, she'll decide on her own that boys aren't really that great. I mean, all us girls get to that point pretty quick, don't you think?!
Make sure she knows about sex and why you can't have it until your 25 (haha!). Or whatever your beliefs are. Make sure you know where she is, who she's hanging out with and what they are doing as best as you can. Probably the best thing you can do as a parent is just stay aware, encourage her to be her, but make sure she knows you will always be mom and watching, there to help her make good decisions, not to be mean! Hope that helps!



answers from Fort Wayne on

I too have an 11 year old, soon to be 12 in February. Last year in 5th grade she too had "a boyfriend" I asked how he was her boyfriend since she never talked to him. She said I like him and he likes me. We say Hi in school. Anyway, at this age it is pretty harmless. I did allow her to go to the movies with him. No, not by herself. A large group of her friends and there "boyfriends" met at the movies. One mother stayed with them. When I went back to pick her up; They all met there, didn't go together; the boys were hanging with the boys and the girls with the girls. They would talk on the phone occasionally and he even bought her a little Christmas present. She baked him cookies. It ended at the end of the school year. Really pretty harmless. However, you do need to have the "conversation" with your daughter. Kids now need to know this stuff if for nothing else their own protection. My daughter too began to shave her legs last year, needs to wear a bra, No hair yet, I don't believe, and no Period, But we have talked about SEX. There are alot of good books at the library and good videos. Good Luck. The whole boyfriend thing is all talk, just to say you have one. No biggie.



answers from Charleston on

Hi, C.

I'm C.. I have only a almost 3 year old son. So, I haven't personally came across this situation yet. I though, had a little sister and I felt she didn't care if my mother was aproving of her dating or not. I think back on it and I am pretty sure if our mother got more personally involved with our personal lives she may have had a better chance of getting my sister to take advice on a friendly bases rather then a controlling parent. My sister was a rebel from the start so, I pray with your daughters early development you wont have as much of a headache as our mother did with my sister.

I was a book worm. boys were never an issue for me till I was in my twenties. lol just incase you wondered why I am talking about my sister other then myself.

I live in Nettie also. Maybe some time we could chat over coffee.

Lots of luck!



answers from Louisville on

She does not need a boyfriend!!! I would let her have friends that are boys but not a boyfriend and you are not being mean by not letting her have a boyfriend. YOU are being her MOM, her parent! You have the right to say no! If she's interested in boys and shes going through puberty and you let her go out with her "boyfriend" she might come home with your grandchild. She is too long and she has a lot to learn. You need to teach her to say NO to boys and mean it and how to stop it(if they are handling her wrong) and to report it to you. Also, monitor her when on the computer, do not let her go into chat rooms or IM someone without you being there. She is at a very delicate age and there are old men looking for girls her age. You are to be careful for her and teach her at the same time. Sorry this is so long, hope it helps though.



answers from Charleston on

Dear C. ,I agree she is to young ,but A small crush on a boy is totally normal at her age ,sound like she is muturing very fast,Kids these days do I have a 15 -8 and 21 all boys and people think my 15 year old is 18 or more he has a beard and is over 6 foot tall .This makes it hard as a parent you have to be more careful ,I had a older lady try to hook up with my son 15 ,no way !!!So maybe dont allow phone calls and emails at this time .13 I can see it but not just yet !Hope this helps and God Bless yah



answers from Bloomington on

I always wanted a boyfriend, too, but surprisingly, I never really had one. Of course, I had the benefit of having an older sister and brother. When I would try flirting with my brother's friends, they would tease me and my brother would get annoyed. My sister helped emphasize that boyfriends at that age are silly because they are so immature. She was right. It's not until guys are adults that they usually understand how to properly treat a girl, and even as an adult some men don't get it.

Try pointing out all the careless and insensitive things guys do at that age. Also, let her know that the best boyfriends start out as friends. You might want to ask her why she wants a boyfriend, although she may not know. If it's because she wants someone to care about her, point out that guys don't really care at that age. If it's a status thing, mention that the guys worth having are the ones that will respect you for being yourself. If it's for physical reasons, think back to your first experiences. I know my first kisses were disgusting. The guys slobbered on me and gave my tongue whiplash from all the movement. :)

Good luck! My parents told me I couldn't start dating until I was 25, so I don't think you're being harsh. At 11, you're just starting to notice the bigger world around you.



answers from Indianapolis on

C., I was in your shoes a few years ago. My daughter who is now a freshman in highschool thought the world was going to end if she didnt get a boyfriend. I explained to her that she was so young and there was so much to do. I told her that boyfriends would come when the time is right. I also made sure she stayed involved in youth group and gymnastics. She still complained now and then, but we both lived through it (lol). She is now in highschool and is too busy for a steady boyfriend. She has lots of friends who are guys but no boyfriend. So just hang in there, and she will see mom is right, she wont tell you she thinks your right, but she knows.
D. N

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