It’s the time you’ve tried to avoid as long as possible, the most feared season of a mother’s life when raising a daughter; the dreaded season of boy-crazy. In one way, you’re glad that your daughter isn’t going crazy over boys, but you’re scared that she’s navigating the murky waters of friends who honed in their attention on the opposite sex.
Now there’s nothing wrong with having a crush, but you’ll remember when your girlfriends suddenly only focused on boys in your teen years. It’s like the switch happened overnight, and you felt like you didn’t recognize your friends anymore.
You may also remember going to summer camp and having a cabin full of girls who only cared about a boy asking them to the Friday night camp banquet. You felt frustrated because there were still other things you wanted to do, like play Barbie's, bake, play in the woods, or ride bikes. Finding a boyfriend wasn’t your sole focus.
Perhaps it didn’t upset you. Some of your friends may think of it as a fun time that’s part of growing up. However, you should keep reading if you’re on the opposite of the boy-crazy spectrum. Here are some ways to help your daughter navigate her boy-obsessed friends.
Think about making new friends.
There’s logic in choosing who you befriend, and we usually pick people with similar interests. On the one hand, most of your daughter’s friends are those she’s grown up with, so the relationship is solid. However, making new friends doesn’t mean she has to give up old ones; it means leaving her comfort zone and looking for friends whose interests don’t revolve around boys. Help your daughter find new places that inspire the pursuit of interests and hobbies where they have the potential to make new friends. For example, take her to a church social and let her try to make new friends and see where it goes.
This tactic may take some extra time and stamina from you, but it’ll pay off in helping your daughter spend time with her friends but distract her attention away from boys. One way to do this is to have their devices checked in. You could check in their devices by having your children turn their phones onto your kitchen counter so they won’t spend most of their time on Instagram talking about boys or trying to get a boy’s attention on other social networks.
You could also consider offering alternatives for activities, so they’re not bored and thinking about boys. Try taking them to a park where they can ride bikes, bake with them, or play your favorite family board game. You could also consider putting a time limit on how much time they spend on social media. That way, they’re still connected with their friends but don’t become social media obsessed.
Have honest conversations.
It could be as simple as having an honest talk with your daughter and her friends. You could explain to them that you understand the excitement around boys, but you don’t want to focus on them in your household constantly. Try your best not to preach to them about your thoughts on dating and opinions, but being straightforward about what you will and won’t tolerate is essential.
Remember that this may not stop the boy talk, and you’re not going to chaperone or spy on your daughter and your friends. Still, it brings awareness to the situation if it’s getting out of control and allows your daughter to fall back on your warning. It’s a chance for your daughter to transition the conversation to talk about something else.
Create a text code.
If your daughter needs an intervention, she may require you to be available to bail her out if she’s no longer comfortable. It happens at the boy-crazy age, and she might need an out that doesn’t embarrass her. Think about making a text code for the two of you that means, “I need your help,” without saying it in case her friends see her phone. It could be a series of emojis or a phrase like “Please don’t make coffee.”
The unfortunate truth is you can’t shield your children forever. It can be infuriating if your daughter is showing agony or frustration over her friend’s focus. Still, educating her on why this is becoming a problem for her is essential. Teaching her about the growing awareness of God’s intention for men and women, boys, how this time is a stepping stone toward that, and having patience with others who aren’t on the same page are all critical things to teach her.
Let your daughter know that she can talk to you. Try not to criticize her or her friends about their feelings toward boys. It’s a lesson in kindness, moderation, patience, and communication. This time is excellent for your daughter to learn how to talk about her opinions and feelings with her friends but in a nice way. It can also be an opportunity for your daughter to help her friends traverse the world of boys while still steering away from that world and returning to being a kid.
The hardest thing to realize is that this is only the beginning. Your daughter isn’t a little girl anymore, nor are her friends. As her mother, it’s your job to set a good example and inspire her toward faith and strong womanhood. Help her understand that boys are temporary, but God’s love is eternal. It may also be helpful to share your boy-crazy experiences with your daughter and how you handled them.
As a child, it can be hard to understand that your parents were once young, too, so sharing your experiences, it’ll help her realize that everyone goes through these phases. Finally, help your daughter and her friends understand that a boy’s opinion isn’t the end-all, be-all. They are beautiful for simply being themselves and don’t need a boy’s opinion to realize that. Remind them that God made them in His image; no boy can take that away from them.