Boys, boys, it ok to let her be depressed over boys???

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MidwestMom, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    N. will be thirteen next week, but she looks sixteen. Yes, I hate it. Boys tend to find her attractive, and she has this string of "boyfriends." "Boyfriend" means they say they like one another and spend group time together, maybe at the beach once or twice a weak (with lots of people around) and maybe at the skating park. They don't date. They don't do anything 1-1. By doing a bit of snooping I have pretty much tracked that my daughter is not involved sexually in any way--hasn't even kissed a boy. Her friends haven't either, although they all have "boyfriends."

    The thing with N. is she "falls in love" (ahem--I don't really believe kids that age can love) and then when it falls apart in a few days, she gets upset/depressed. I can tell when this is happening. She puts on a good front for us, however she's my daughter--I can tell when she's upset, even when she holds it together. I want to yell at her that she's not allowed to even pretend to have boyfriends because I think this boyfriend thing is on her mind too much and s he has enough trouble concentrating in school. I doubt this is something I could enforce though because nothing is really happening. I'd sort of have to keep her locked in her room (my hub's J/K.

    Is there anything GOOD to say to these very young girls when they develop a crush on a very young boy (who is usually even less mature than her). I want to say the right thing. My inclination is to brush it off and say "Look, boys are jerks at this age...just concentrate on sports and your friends and have fun." Somehow I feel that would be insensitive.

    What would you say to a thirteen year old girl about boys? Nothing? I've given her the sex chat many times and am convinced that she is in no way interested in sex at this point. It's about emotions. As nice as most of these boys are (I know them), they are flattered by girl attention and like a girl one day and another one the next...and I don't think they are as into the girls as the girls are into the boys.

    I hate for her to waste time on the roller coaster over boys at her young age. Good heavens, I never thought I was in love all the way through high school. I know I had no idea what love is.
  2. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I can't think of anything more a 13yr old girl would whine about than boys. It's that time of high drama about everything.
    I would just remind her of her last boyfriend and her next boyfriend so she doesn't waste too much time on the present one.
    I remember writing "steve" in my notebook over and over until I had pages and pages of his name. I never dated at 13. It was a very physical yearning for love or a connection or romance. It had nothing to do with sex or even dating.
    I wasted a lot of my French class writing the doofus' name. I think that lasted 6 wks. Maybe.
    I don't know how to turn down the emotions of a 13yr old. They are amazingly powerful little beings with their hormones and mood swings. Good luck.
  3. therese005us

    therese005us New Member

    I hope you can talk easily to her.
    the more you emphasis your disapproval, the more she will probably want to push the boundaries.
    If you have had sensible talks about the boy being a friend only.... explained th difference between 'puppy love' and a long term committment... like, do you think you want to MARRY this boy? have his family and be together FOREVER?? No, I didn't think so. It's perfectly ok to have friends which are boys... even grown ups do, but we don't marry them all or commit ourselves to them only.

    It's a phase... remember when she was 9 or 10, and she was buddies with all the classmates, but came home every couple days saying this one or that one didn't like her anymore, and she didn't like them? Oh! I thought that would never end with my daughter now 23. It seemed I was forever getting tissues ready for the tears when she came through the door. It was just as harrowing for me as her, as I wasn't sure how long it was going to last.

    Well, that's my tuppence worth.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, I talk to her about it with respect. Sometimes though I worry. She has Learning Disability (LD) problems and doesn't need boys on her mind while she's trying to do her work. She has a hard enough time.
  5. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Her emotions are perfectly normal for a 13 year old typical teen. There are some really good books about self-esteem that could help her focus on other things. But, girls like boys. Nothing wrong with that.
  6. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yup, the most you can do is tell her it is normal. To them each one is the end of the world. So, explaining the normalcy in the excitement and let down is important. I like Fran's idea of reminding of the last one and wondering about the next one. Each one will help her learn something. The most important thing is that she respect herself and NOT allow any of them to take advantage of her - physically or emotionally.
  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I think the best thing you can do is to just be there to listen to her when she's upset, and keep your eyes and ears open for anything out of the ordinary. It's a phase we all go through, but knowing we have a parent who's there to be supportive can help ease some of the drama, I think, and help them keep perspective and maintain a positive self esteem. I agree that trying to squash the feelings is useless, and may backfire (it did with me and my overly strict parents). I don't envy this time you are going through! My easy child is 10 and I do NOT look forward to the teen years with her!
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It's hormones, it's peer pressure, it's self-esteem, it's discovering new country. It's exciting. Even being depressed about a boy, is exciting because at least you're up with your peers.

    All you can do is love her and comfort her. You could be feelnig sympathetic and want to strangle the young unfortunate male who made your darlnig girl cry, but in a couple of days she won't care about him, it will be someone else. Your energy will be purely a waste of your own emotion.

    She needs to know that her emotions are taken seriously, because one day they WILL be real.

    This is a practice run. But she's never been there before, so to her of course it is the real thing.

    All you can do when she cries, "But he doesn't like me any more, you should have seen how he was looking at Julie instead!" is to pat her on the arm, say, "There there," and also say to her, "If he doesn't see in you what I see, he must be blind and any boy so short-sighted isn't worth your tears, in my view. You are a beautiful person as well as being pretty. There will be more boyfriends. Maybe many more. Every relationship teaches you a little bit more about yourself and how you manage a healthy relationship, and prepares you for the time when you meet The One. So think to yourself - what did I learn this time? Also think - what do I still need to learn?"

    One important lesson she needs to learn from this - her own self-esteem needs to solidify and become a real driving force in her life. Also, how to make other people feel good too, without damaging her own self-esteem in the process. Very important, a difficult social balancing act for a young child. But a very important lesson for life in general.

    She needs to know that these boyfriend relationships are valid. And of course they are. In centuries past she could already be married (and probably would have had no say in the matter). Our society has changed in many ways. Growing up and maturing emotionally is a tiresome and exhausting business for everybody. The emotional rollercoaster a kid goes through in their teens - it's appalling.

    I made a pact with myself in my childhood, to never forget how it felt. I deliberately locked away memories into a vault so I can pull them out and examine them. The feelings, the emotional pain, the social circumstances that led to it all - what I resented the most at the time, was having it belittled by the adults in my life. "It's only puppy love," or the indulgent condescending smile. It doesn't matter if it's only puppy love - it hurts bad, it feels real enough and for those moments, it is the universe. You can't get around the depth of those feelings by trying to convince the person that they aren't so big after all, or that "You ain't seen nothing yet!"
    I remember thinking at the time - "If real love hurts even worse than this; if growing up means I am going to experience emotional pain on a greater scale - then maybe I shouldn't allow my life to continue. I can barely cope with this, and everyone says it's not real. What on earth will I do when I'm older and have to deal with even more pain?"

    So don't try to make light of it. This hurts, even if the boy was barely in her life a fortnight earlier. It hurts NOW. And even if you privately feel she is tearing her heart out for a useless idiot, it's HER choice to do this. Better to tear her heart out for a few days for a useless idiot now, than to have years of grief for making the wrong choice ten years from now.

    Think of it as her learning to walk on a balance beam. The beam is currrently set six inches above the floor, but the personal shame in falling off is as bad in her mind as the physical pain of falling off sixty feet up. The more you support and encourage her now, the more skilled she will be when she has to walk the balance beem in the ceiling of the Big Top, without a safety net. YOU need to become her safety net.

    I hope this helps.

    Give her a hug from her cyber Aunty from Down Under. She's a gorgeous girl, any boy who doesn't stick around doesn't know what he's missing.

    Last edited: Jun 1, 2009
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ah, thanks, Marg. What a comforting, wise post. I'll have to print it out and keep it. ;)
  10. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I think Marg is right on. It is part of the practice run for increasingly significant relationships. Maybe that angst is what teaches young women. It was very real to me and it felt as if I had to go through it. It actually had little to do with the boys but more the emotional pain and growth. Of course, I didn't know that at the time.
    There is no way to make her or tell her to take boys off her mind. It's an important part of the growth process and nature will not be denied. Just helping her keep balance between her emotional self and her other priorities.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You know, I don't think I'd care except that she has so much trouble concentrating on school and getting her work done. All she needs is THIS distristraction! :tongue:
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    THink about it all in perspective her her life as a whole. Yes, we need the academic stuff to give us a head start in life career-wise. But our emotional development and our future happiness in relationships is in thte crucible in our teens. What she is gonig through now is a distraction from her studies, but in its own way is just as vital to the woman she will be for the rest of her life, way beyond her formal education years.

    She has a lifetime to continue (or not) formal studies. The difficult children in our lives do tend to need a bit longer to complete their formal education. If tey can get some emotional and social maturity along the way, that is great. That usually takes time too.

    What I'm saying - this is also valid. It just doesn't usually come with a diploma.

  13. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    I didn't read all the replies so I'm sorry if I repeat what someone else says--I was so boy crazy at 13 it was about all I could think of. I wanted a boyfriend so much and I did have very sexual feelings at that age. I did not talk to my mother about any of it because I didn't think she'd understand. I thought she'd just minimize my feelings (typical in my family). It may not be real love that I felt for the boy that I really wanted but you know, it felt about the same as when I did fall in love later on!

    I think your dtr is behaving in a perfectly normal typical teen way if that is any comfort and I know it isn't really!!!