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Is my 9 year old growing up to fast?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I have a 9 year old daughter. She is very smart and grown up for her age. She has just started getting interested in boys and is asking them out. She is away for the summer (with her father) and called me to find out what to wear and how to do her hair. I know that she has no negitive intentions and that she is just being a girl but she is 9. Her friends at her dads are older and influence her alot. I dont know if I should nurture this behavior or stop it. I know I cant stop it but curb it. Any suggestions?
post #2 of 13
I don't know, how do you feel about it. My dd is 12 and has friends of both sexes, but she doesn't have boyfriends and doesn't date. Is she asking them out in a boyfriend/girlfriend kind of thing?? Or just a friends thing?
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
i dont think she really understands the whole boyfriend thing but yes, that is the way she is asking. i dont know if this is normal or not. she is trying to look pretty and what she said to was "i want him to notice me". any thoughts?
post #4 of 13
Well, I think the wanting to look nice is totally normal. She's starting to be more aware of herself. And IMO kids are going to get crushes and stuff, which is normal. My dd had a little crush on a boy when she was about 5. But I never used the word boyfriend like many of our friends did. I just didn't want to start that whole thing so early. We were careful not to use terms with her that weren't age appropriate. So she's never had a "boyfriend". But that is just the way we are doing it, not implying that everyone needs to.

I think it's important to convey whatever your values are to her regarding dating, boyfriends ect. If it's ok with you then fine, if not you need to let her know. I'm sure you already know that though :-)
post #5 of 13
It sounds to me like she's feeling some pressure to get noticed by boys, probably from the older friends. Talk about how appearance is not the only way to be noticed; don't say it's bad to look pretty, but talk about how she might attract compatible boys by finding interests they have in common. Good relationships are about enjoying each other, not about one person trying to please the other.

I don't think you need to be worried about her making "dates". But if you start hearing about exclusive commitments, kissing, or other signs that she's attempting to start adult-type relationships, you may want to slow her down.
post #6 of 13
I have to be honest...my oldest ds is now 11 and has had girls calling him since about 3rd grade (age 8). It used to make him very uncomfortable. Even now, even though he's gotten better at handling it, he is just not into it and wishes they would stop bugging him. There are a few of them that keep showing up on our front lawn and yelling his name until he (or I!) comes out. I really don't like it. I always wonder where these girls parents are and why they are letting their daughters harrass my baby (can you tell I'm not ready for this stage?)

I would likely feel differently if this hadn't been going on so long, or if my son felt differently about it. I've told him to hang in there and one day soon he'll be glad to get the attention...he may be starting to believe me. Some of his friends are starting to get into girls a bit more so he'll probably not be far behind. Girls do seem to be growing up much faster than I did, that's for sure! This probably hasn't been much help to you, but your daughter is not the only one her age to be into boys. If I were you, I'd talk to the parents of the boys she's calling and be sure everyone is on the same page.
post #7 of 13
Hmmm... my daughter is nine and she's in a really different place. She is really into theater and sports, and interacts with boys as well as girls, but she's just not into girlfriend/boyfriend stuff. In our circle of friends, there's not a lot of "going out" even among the teens, it's more hanging out together in groups, and they're really nice about including Rain.

I would be really uncomfortable about her going out on dates with older boys. I can't really imagine her wanting to, and I'd really wonder what she was looking for - is she doing this to fit in, is she looking for some kind of closeness she feels she's not getting at home, or something else?

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well... my dd is just starting to do things that are more grown up. My dd is in Las Vegas for the summer where she has these older friends (she is with her dad) and they are influencing her... but she is also not being responsible with her deccision making. I think she is trying to fit in and she is confused about how to do that. She does not have any friends here in Hawaii that she spends alot of time with so this is all happend while she has been out there. We (my ex and I) have been talking and are scared about her behaivor. While spending the night across the street, she and her friends are walking, at night, in Vegas, to a boys house who is 15 without her father knowing. He just found out about this and was livid. She lied and was caught... this is just the start and I wont go into all of it but, we are not sure what to do. I am kind of a whimp when it comes to punishments and she oviously needs some kind of it. I have taken her to counsling, talked with her for hours upon hours, and she just munipulates my hubby and I as well as her father. We dont know what to belive. Now, I did have her very young (16) and my ex was 22... we did not know all the things necassary to raise a child but now... I have the ability and am trying to work with her but my attemps fail as well as my dh and my ex. She is so smart and beautiful I dont want her to throw it all away and go down this path. I have nothing but love to give her and time. Thanks for the replys.
post #9 of 13
I don't know if my 2 cents is helpful at all, but I felt compelled to add it. I have a 9 yr old daughter who is not at all interested in boys or appearances so I may not be one to talk. But, even realizing that my child may be a completely different personality, situation than yours, I would be very concerned about the behavior you describe for a 9 yr old girl.
. I don't think it's healthy for her to be asking boys out, trying to figure out how to attreact boys, at her age. I read the reply re: this behavior not being unusual for girls her age, but I do not agree. I dont see it happening with the kids I know. I hope you don't minimize it because you think it's just the way it is nowadays.

I don't know how good her dad (your ex) is at discipline, but I think her whereabouts need to be monitored more closely. It seems totally unsafe and innapropriate for a girl her age to be walking at night to an older boys house. Do the parents of her friend across the street know they left the house? She seems so young for you to be dealing with these issues. I would take it very seriously.

Maybe try to get her involved in some really healthy positive things with kids closer to her age, or older kids that would be better role models. Try talking to her, you are beautiful no matter what you wear, but what is really special about you is how kind you are to animals, or how brave you were about?, or whatever you see inside her that you can try to move her focus away from attracting boys and focusing on her appearance.

Also, I personally would not get into giving her any fashion or beauty advice or any advice re: attracting boys. Then you are going along with it. I would focus the advice on how to be healthy, what would be a neat hairdo to try that you might like, what clothes are fun to wear, but not buy into her focus on boys. I would reinforce that she is not old enough for that yet. Never mind what she says. You don't have to say it in a punitive or angry way. Just, matter of factly. It's nice that boys and girls can be friends, but you are too young to be dating. What can we arrange with your friends (boys or girls). Can they go ice skating, swimming, get together for a game of tag, have a get together in the afternoon at your home for board games or crafts. Encourage positive, age appropriate stuff. Don't buy into her attempts to grow up too fast.

You say youre a wimp about punishments, but I wish you wouldn't think of discipline as punishment. It is teaching. You need to teach her about life, and love and sex and all of that. But help her to come to it as she is ready. So I would not talk about it for hours with her. Just make it clear what is okay and what is not. "It's great you like Joey, maybe he and suzy and jenny can all come over for a movie and popcorn." If she talks about asking him out, rephrase it, "Thats great to invite a friend over, but you are too young to talk about dating." Reassure her her time will come. Get some good books about growing up. Take her out for a mom/daughter day or dad/daughter day and open up the time for talk in a nice casual atmosphere. Tell her no sleepovers and why (concerns about her really bad judgement, dangerous behavior). Not a punishment, anatural consequence. Maybe in a certain time period she earns sleepovers back, but only with clear guidelines at the home of a friend who's parents you totally trust.

I probably sound preachy and my social worker background is showing, but i hope you can take something helpful out of my diatribe. I wish you luck. Your daughter is lucky to have a mom who cares so much.

post #10 of 13
My thoughts were almost verbatim what was said by maggie, I see a lot of red flags in your post and think that she is way too young to be involved in these kinds of behaviors, which will only escalate as she gets older if something isn't done now.
post #11 of 13
My next door neighbor has a ten year old daughter, and from the time we moved in last year I have noticed her wearing short shorts, tight shirts pulled up in front when her folks aren't home; she swings her hips when she walks, and after school hangs out in the street talking and walking about with boys who have to be 14 or so. So it is not unheard of, but quite alarming all the same. She also looks really lustfully, I kid you not, at older men including my husband, who is less grizzled than other men on the street. She is not physically well developed at all, as the old stereotype would have such early bloomers. I was interested in sex at a very early age and longed to date when I was nine and ten, but I wouldn't actually have wanted to, once the reality of it kicked in. It was exciting enough at 14 and more than enough to handle then. So being interested in it is one thing; acting upon it and getting in too deep is another. Harsh punishments will do nothing useful, but we can't overlook a possible need for strong intervention, if that's what our kids need. We can be clear, and not demeaning or condescending, yet still say, "I'm sorry, you are still too young for this."

(I highly recommend Raising a Daughter by Elium and Elium. It has some great suggestions and strategies for reeling it in when it's gotten too far out of control. It has a real Waldorf bent so you may need to suspend disbelief if that's not your thing. But what can be applied to everyone is very useful. )
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

Help!!!! new developments

I agree that her behavior is unacceptable. I/we have been having some real problems with her latley and are at a loss over what to do... maybe you can help.
My dd is, well, extreamly munipulitive.I know what you are all thinking but belive me.... ITS ALOT WORSE. She has lied to us about our parenting., example, "daddy never wakes up in the morning and I dont get to eat until 2 pm', "mommy always leaves me alone with the baby" , "daddy hits me", "mommy says you are a bad daddy and cant take care of me", it goes on and on. We have finaly descoverd this after her father called me about her behavior and things started coming out. After a conference call with my dd, me, my dh, and her father we got everything out about the lying (witch was alot) and we feel so much better. The thing is, Carina has no remorse, empathy, or feelings for anyone but herself. I mean, saying her daddy hits her~!!!! Just to get attention!!!! He was hurt and upset as you could imagine. I know some of you might say is it really her or is it the dad... no, its her. She has munipulated everyone in the family. She makes everyone feel as though they are the ones to bond/breakthrough to her. Then she says... "dont tell anyone they will get mad at me". She has even come up with lies that have no meaning. "Mommy, you cook so good, daddy doesa not cook for me at all" then "daddy you cook so good, mommy does not cook at all". Now, you might think, how can we be so blind??? Well, let me tell you that she is that good. We are all very inteligant people (with the execption of my spelling) and not snowed very easily. I am worried about my new dd... I am worried for my older dd.... I am worried for everyone in her life. She is mean, cruel, unhappy, munipulative, and lying about almost everything. We are at a loss... she is too much. She gets attention, time, love, comunication, energy, dance classes, private school, toys, clothes, ect... what is she lacking??? She does it to everyone. She made my 90 year old grandma cry, her uncle (who adores her) wont let her come over to his house anymore, her dads girlfriend is scared to have her dd(4) around her. Help!!!!
What I have come up with (she comes back on the 13) is a schedual and routin for daily, weekly, and monthly. Chores, and activities and time spent with family. She craves routin and thats what I am going to try to do. We are giving her 6 months to shape up (she hates school to) and after that she will go to her dads for 6 months whos ways of dicaplining are very different and harsh... maybe this would work? If still she has not gotton better we will have to think about a school of some sort. She seems to need a good kick in the a## and I am just not good at that sort of thing (I do not belive in hitting) but she needs somthing and we just dont kow what it is. Now, there is so much more to this story and I will clarify anything necassary but this is getting so long at the moment. I just need any sugjestions to help make my dd a happy, healthy, loving child.
post #13 of 13
Hi again,

I am no expert, but it really sounds to me like you need some professional help with your daughter. Creating a better routine and making more family time are great ideas. But it sounds like things are pretty out of control. There are counselors who work with children and families who could definitely help. If you have insurance, some counseling is often covered. If not, there are usually community counseling places that offer sliding scales.

I am glad that you don't think hitting is a good idea. Especially in this type of situation, it would probably only create a rift between you two and give her more stories to exaggerate. Try to remember that, even though she is driving you crazy, there is some pain and struggle at the root of it for her.

I wish you luck. Hang in there.
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