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Boy-Crazy Girls

     Does it seem to you that your pre-teen daughter has gone boy crazy? Here are some things that you may be seeing in your new boy-crazy pre-teen:

* She may call a boy she likes ten or more times a day, perhaps leaving suggestive messages on the answering machine.

* She may write a boy notes that would make even an adult blush.

* She may take the lead in urging sexual activity.

     There are ways that you can discourage this behavior in your pre-teen as they are neither capable physically nor emotionally with dealing with serious relationships at their young age.

     First, you can talk with your child about sexuality from an early age, emphasizing that sexual feelings are a part of everyone's life, but that sexual activity is not always an acceptable option and that sexual aggression and coercion is never acceptable, whether one is male or female.

     Second, you can discourage early dating and other boy-girl activities. Kids need a time to be with same sex friends to learn social and intimacy skills. Girls who start dating before they are psychologically or socially ready may not know appropriate ways to act in close relationships with the opposite sex and can feel pressured to imitate older teens or show "maturity" with sexual aggressiveness.

     Third, you should reinforce your daughter's self-esteem, helping her to discover her intrinsic value as a person and her unique strengths and talents, Too often, girls enter the pre-teens and teens with harmful social conditioning--believing that if they don't have boyfriends, they have nothing--and feeling that sexual availability, real or simply implied, is the only way to achieve this ultimate goal.

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