UCB Parents Advice about School-aged Kids

"Boy crazy" 5 and 6-year olds

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Oct 2001

My 6-year old and some of her friends seem (to me) to be "boy crazy." They talk a lot about their "boyfriends" they have, and giggle and blush when talking about them. My daughter also makes a clear distinction between boys whom she considers friends, and one particular "boyfriend." I'm a single mother, but my daughter's friends are in mom-and-dad families. Just how common is this? Is it one of those phases that will pass until adolescence nears, or will it all just be a matter of degree from here on?

My 6 year old daughter and her pals at school are going through the "boy crazies" too. At first I was concerned because I was never really boy crazy. But then I realized that this phase is helping to prepare her for relationships in the future. There are some boys at her school that she does not like because they are bullies, others who are pals, and others that she just goes "ga ga" over. She goes just plain weird over older boys. She created an imaginary boy friend recently who walks with us or rides in the car with us. We have to wait for him to buckle his seat belt before we can drive somewhere. Although I think it is a normal phase of a girl's life, but I have some concerns that I have tried to address. I don't want her to be so wild for boys that she lets them walk all over her when she is older. To help her learn about personal safety, I took her to Kid Power training. To help her learn what a good partner is, I have emphasized the importance of chosing friends who treat you with courtesy and respect. Fortunately, we have my husband, her daddy, as a model of what a great partner can be. She also knows that relationships and families can come in different forms. The other day she pretended that she and I were female partners and she was the mommy who gave birth to the baby and I was the other mommy. Quite a busy little mind.
I raised 3 daughters, two on my own...If you play along, they will be fine...but girls like boys so get used to it. If you try and punish them, they will rebel like we did when we were kids.. Timothy Falke
We've had the same experience with our 6-year-old girl and some of her friends. I finally talked with her and told her that "six-year-olds don't have boyfriends." There are other things I've told her that six-year-olds don't do (that she wants to do), i.e. wear lipstick and make-up to school (I let her wear them to play dress-up at home, but not to school), so she seemed to accept that the "no boyfriend" rule was along those same lines -- something she is just too young for. I thought it was important to say something, because I also felt it was getting out of hand. I've also talked with well-meaning adults (friends of ours), who used to ask her "How's school?" and "Do you have a boyfriend?" or tease her about boys, all in fun, but I think she began to think she was SUPPOSED to have a boyfriend. There's so much pressure on these little girls to grow up so quickly, I think it's important that whenever we get a chance, we protect their childhood for them. Colleen
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