Married 17 years to my accountant, keyboard playing husband. Mother to one clever 13 year old boy and two brilliant girls age 10 and 6. My third appendage is my laptop as I manage and edit my online lifestyle magazine for Southern Utah --aliveutah.com and my food blog -- Pantry Eats. I love to write about parenting, food, exploring and home and garden. I am also a gardener, a semi-decent cook (I learned to cook so late in life) a voracious reader and, like all moms, an accomplished chauffeur.

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Young Teenage Love — A plea to 13-14 year old girls

Excuse me, but I have to vent for just a minute. Because frankly, I am a little confused. I am confused at why young tween and teenage girls think it is normal to be so aggressive and over the top in professing their undying love to teenage boys.

I am not for one moment pretending I did not have crush after crush when I was in middle school and ninth grade. But that is just it. I had lots of crushes. They changed every week and I didn’t think it appropriate to throw myself at a boy and declare my undying love to them. (Because guess what, it was not forever love)

As the mother of a 14 year old boy, I have seen how aggressive girls are these days. I have seen how this affects the male gender. And I can promise you that while my son likes being called cute, he does not enjoy being relentlessly pursued or told by a girl (13 years old) that she will never never break his heart. It is overwhelming for these young boys to be expected to have such strong romantic feelings or to feel obligated to honor such a long commitment.

Most boys this age are not Edwards yet (and if they were I would be just a tad worried. Because in real life that kind of obsession from a teenage guy could really be a red flag).

I am not bragging about my son here. (I am hoping there are other mothers dealing with this issue). I am a little unsure how to deal with this. I choose to laugh most days because it is getting a little ridiculous. I laugh because I am also a little freaked out. You may choose to think what I have to tell you is cute. I am a little disturbed by it all, and I feel a little sorry for my son and for the girls who continue to basically throw themselves at him.

A few uncomfortable examples:

My son came home and told us that some girl had declared her undying love for him. My son is not bragging either, he is a little overwhelmed by the attention. Especially when said girl wrote all her flowery feelings down in a letter. Apparently there were similes and metaphors involved in the writing and although I did not read it (he crumpled it up and threw it away) some of the things this girl said about my son’s eyes make me really embarrassed for her. It also made me laugh really hard, which also makes me embarrassed for her. My son doesn’t really know her well. Her friend told her she should take more risks and she did. Nice but stupid friend. Unfortunately, this girl and her friends continue to push this girl onto my son at dances and events. My son tries to remain a gentleman while maintaining his distance.

This is not the first incident of this kind of teenage girl love that same month. A few weeks earlier a girl asked (out of the blue) if he would be her boyfriend. This girl is actually a good friend of his but he told me she reminds him of his sister. Thank heavens he didn’t say that to her.

He politely declined and told her he couldn’t go on dates until he was 16 and that he had a relationship before that turned out bad. I thought he handled it well. He was a little concerned. The girl did not come to school the next day.

“She will be fine,” I told him. “At least you didn’t tell her she reminded you of your sister.” (I realize that as a member of the female gender, I should be a little more sensitive for the girl. But I may have been in mama bear mode at the moment)

I have had to tell some of my daughter’s 10 -year -old friends to leave my son alone too. One of them told him she would pay for his movie ticket if he would please just come with my daughter and her friends to the movies. My poor daughter.

And anyway why are all these girls so aggressively going after boys? Do they really think that flowery love notes saying “I will never break your heart” to a 13 year old boy are going to make those boys feel anything but uncomfortable. And 13 year old boys — at least most of them — are uncomfortable when you throw yourselves at them and they have to try and be gentlemen and not hurt your feelings. Because as my son and so many other boys his age know well already, when you hurt a girl’s feelings you also offend her circle of friends and that never turns out pretty.

So here is my plea to young tweens and teens and their parents:

Please young girls restrain your raging hormones. Boys do not want to feel cornered by your undying love when they are 13. They may like you, it’s true. Probably just not quite as much as you think you like them. It is not doing anything for your dignity to behave this way on a regular basis.

Parents, (and this includes me) please don’t laugh this off. Because first of all  there are boys that will take unfair advantage of this behavior. And they are usually responding to a much more physical impulse rather than an emotional one. Secondly, we need to help our daughters understand that just because it is normal on TV shows or in YA romance books that does not mean that deeply intense romantic relationships are really the everyday norm for kids — these young boys may be fun to flirt with or hang out with or talk to but they are unprepared to deal with adult relationship ideals.

Just a sidenote: I realize that girls are not the only ones to blame for giving into their hormonal romantic urges. I just think we are ignoring this trend coming from our daughters and we are writing it off as cute or funny. I realize there are plenty of boys who need to be taught the meaning of appropriate touching and the meaning of the words “hands off.” But that is a topic for another day.

 

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Comments (5)

  1. Heather B in SC 09/13/2012 at 5:42 pm

    I agree, and my daughter had this problem last year in fifth grade as well. NOT with a boy… I have been trying to teach her restraint of her hormones, lol, although her friends are HORRIBLE right now. And worse as they get older. My dau got a crush on a boy, but mistakenly told someone….who told EVERYONE and started trying to shove my dau, who wrote no notes, etc, thankfully, towards said boy. Said boy got horrifyingly embarrassed by the other kid’s actions… not from my kid, who wasn’t spreading the info around, but at the others…and lashed out against my child, trying to embarrass her as much as he viewed himself as being embarrassed. It took us a while to work that garbage out Especially since the boy in question is a friend from church whose mom is a close friend of mine….otherwise, discussion over it would have been much harder and worse.

    • Rachelle Hughes 09/13/2012 at 7:38 pm

      And honestly a lot of the problem is the gang of friends that think they are doing their friend a favor. I am sorry you had to go through that. My son has had to deal with “the friends” in a lot of situations (some worse than others) and it is often the girl’s friends who can’t seem to accept refusal and create havoc or say and do mean or embarrassing things for both sides. Your poor daughter. Guy friends are more like “Dude, that crazy girl is following you and hiding behind bushes again. Just telling you.” or “Is she texting you again? Geesh.” And that is about the extent of their involvement in most cases.

  2. Shona 09/13/2012 at 9:02 pm

    I sincerely do not want to downplay your concerns, but this all sounds pretty normal to me. I never personally did this kind of stuff because I am very introverted and would never have set myself up for rejection or humiliation like that, but I knew plenty of girls who did. They threw themselves at boys and inevitably embarrassed themselves. But all but the most un-self-aware of those girls eventually caught on that undying devotion to a boy you barely know will creep him out, not win his heart. Really, they do learn and outgrow it. And by the way, I was 13 in 1988, so this phenomenon is at least that old. This is in no way a new thing or a “trend.”

    As long as the content of these letters does not become sexual, and as long as your son does not start to fear for his safety (which I think you would know because it sounds like he shares everything with you, which is fabulous), then I don’t think this needs much parental intervention. This is an age where all of these feelings are pretty new. It is overwhelming to have these feelings for another person, or to find out that someone else has these feelings for you. All of us had them; it’s just that the girls who are more given to passion and drama are more demonstrative about it, and I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with that. You’ll just have to teach your son (and it sounds like you already do) how to politely reject someone; and he should also know that it is okay for him to say point blank to a persistent girl who makes him uncomfortable that she should stop contacting him. If she continues the letter-writing even after he asks her to stop, then I think that’s when it’s time for the parents to get involved.

    In the meantime, just keep the communication open between you and your son. And try not to react to everything he tells you: if you do, he’ll stop talking. :)

    • Rachelle Hughes 09/13/2012 at 9:49 pm

      Well, I had a few of those friends too. Although it usually started a little later in age and in some cases they got themselves into a few scary situations.

      I agree, I probably don’t need to worry too much. Except that it happens to him a lot. I just think sometimes it’s good to know the boys’ side. I really had no idea what the boy was thinking in these situations until I had one of my own. As a teenager I was probably one of those friends that just agreed with my friends — yeah that guy is jerk, his loss. But that is not always the case. And I have to stand up for the boys a little here.

      And ha ha. I understand the overreacting thing. I try to be cool as a cucumber to his face. Or sometimes(when I can’t help it, I laugh or sympathize.) And I admit that sometimes I am like big deal — get over your self, that is just how girls act. I learned real fast that overreacting to their face just leads them to do exactly the opposite of your advice.

  3. koby 03/17/2013 at 11:49 pm

    look i know how u feel i ask myself that question to somtimes but i belive we act like that so when we are ready to actualy date then u have prepared for the moment of the first ever REAL date so basicly its practice and if they practice enough they will get more dates which could add up to marrige thats why by the way just to let u know since somtimes kids dont lisen to adults i have brung myself koby brooks to tell u that im 12 myself