How to Deal With a Boy-Crazy Daughter

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One day your daughter is playing with dolls and the next day, you discover her notebook is filled with hearts and boys’ names. You might wonder when your little girl became so interested in boys. While it is normal for girls to develop crushes on boys, especially during the tween years and beyond, some girls become a bit boy crazy. All they talk about and think about is boys—and that can become a big problem.

If your daughter is boy crazy, don’t panic. You should, however, get involved. Steer her in a healthier direction and help her see that there is more to life than having boyfriends. You can help her find healthy ways to get the attention she craves.

Possible Reasons

There are a variety of reasons why some young girls become over-the-top boy crazy—environmental factors, hormonal changes, and life experiences are just a few. The following are further potential explanations as to why girls become boy crazy.

Lack of Male Attention

Girls who lack a strong male father figure may seek male attention more than other girls. Research has found that girls who don’t have a father in their lives may be more likely to take bigger sexual risks into adulthood.

A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found “a robust association between father absence—or low-quality paternal involvement—and daughters' accelerated sexual development, promiscuity, and sexual risk-taking.”

If your daughter is not getting the male attention she wants in your home, she may seek it elsewhere.

Self-Worth Issues

Girls who don’t feel good about themselves may depend on attention from others to temporarily inflate their self-esteem. Attracting attention from boys may reaffirm to them that they are worthy of attention or that they are good enough.

Media Messages

Girls are bombarded with unhealthy media messages that portray the "idyllic" body type and attach sex and romance to happiness. Movies, social media, and magazines may cause girls to think that they are supposed to attract male attention and that male attention is the ultimate sign that they are beautiful.

Pressure to Fit In

Some girls may feel like they are supposed to act boy crazy. Perhaps their friends are talking about boys constantly or maybe they see the “popular” girls getting boyfriends. They might assume that acting boy crazy will help them gain social status. They may begin to talk about boys or insist they have crushes on them in an attempt to fit in.

How It Can Be a Problem

Girls tend to mature faster than boys. Therefore, it is common for tween girls to express an interest in attracting male attention long before boys her age are ready to do so. Sometimes, that causes young girls to seek out attention from older boys, which can be a big problem. The following are further issues that may also arise.

  • Your daughter’s interests might be limited. Rather than watching a football game, she may spend the entire game walking around trying to get attention from boys. She might also give up activities where there aren’t enough opportunities to interact with boys, such as piano lessons or girl scouts.
  • She may struggle to develop healthy friendships with boys. Young girls who have an interest in romance don’t have the maturity to develop a healthy relationship. Sometimes, their immature behaviors are likely to drive boys away—which can make them even more boy crazy. Whether she calls boys to tell them she thinks they’re cute or she says provocative things on social media to attract their attention, boy-crazy girls often make young boys feel uncomfortable.
  • She may engage in risky behavior. A boy-crazy girl may be more likely to engage in risky behavior, such as chatting with males online. Talking to strangers can be a quick and easy way for her to get attention. She may also be more likely to send sexually suggestive photos or she might agree to sexual requests from boys in an attempt to get the attention she craves. Girls who are boy crazy may also engage in sexual activity sooner than other girls.
  • She may be distracted from her goals. A boy-crazy girl may be so focused on boys that she can’t pay attention in class. Or, she might be paying more attention to the boys on the sidelines rather than concentrating on her performance on the sports fields.
  • It can take a toll on her friendships. A boy-crazy girl might ditch her friends for an opportunity to spend time with a boy. She may also talk incessantly about boys or not be able to relate to conversations about other activities because she’s so focused on boys.

How to Help

If your daughter’s interest in boys has crossed the line and has become concerning, it’s important to get involved. The following are some things you can do to help her keep her interest in boys to a healthy level.

Positive Male Role Models

If your daughter’s father is in her life, encourage them to spend quality time together to strengthen their bond. A weekly date—just the two of them—can help your daughter get the attention she seeks.

If your daughter doesn’t have a father in her life, consider whether there are other healthy males who can become a father figure. A grandfather, uncle, or trusted friend might be able to give her some positive attention.

Establish Healthy Boundaries

Spending time with boys unsupervised or being allowed to chat on social media with boys all the time might fuel her boy-crazy behavior. Establish clear limits and discuss your expectations.

Know where she is going and who she is spending time with. If there aren’t going to be adults present, think twice before allowing her that much freedom.

Build Her Self-Image

Consider whether your daughter’s identity is wrapped up in having a boyfriend. Some girls only feel good about themselves when they have the affirmation that a boy is interested in them.

Help your daughter feel good about who she is, not what other people say she is. Get her involved in community service, foster her talents, and focus on character (rather than her appearance).

Monitor Media Consumption

Take a close look at the media your daughter is consuming. Is she watching adult shows that glamorize sex and relationships? Is she reading magazines that emphasize the importance of attracting men? Is she viewing websites that focus on developing a certain body type? Set limits on what she is allowed to see; you may feel the need to implement parental controls in some cases.

It is important to not allow your daughter to consume media that sends a message that she must be in a relationship or be attractive to boys to be happy.

Coach Her on Healthy Interactions

In an attempt to get noticed by a boy, sometimes boy-crazy girls attract negative attention. They may call a boy late at night, say mean things, or post inappropriate things on social media just to grab someone’s attention.

If your daughter resorts to unhealthy methods of attracting attention, it’s important to intervene. Coach her on the strategies she can use to develop healthy interactions. Talk about the potential consequences of attracting negative attention. Discuss how such means are likely to backfire in the end. Discuss socially appropriate ways to respond if she has a crush on someone. Remind her of the importance of being kind and respectful at all times.

Help Her Explore New Interests

Get your daughter involved in activities that will give her something to think about besides boys. She may need to explore new extracurricular activities or clubs that she might enjoy.

If she’s likely to be too distracted to really take part in after-school activities, then you might find something she can do on her own. Performing in a community play, taking violin lessons, or volunteering for a community organization might help her learn more about herself.

Normalize Her Feelings

It is normal for young girls to develop a budding interest in romantic relationships. It is also important to normalize those feelings to your daughter. You do not want her to think her emotions are bad or that she should be ashamed of her sexuality.

Have ongoing conversations about her physical, emotional, and sexual maturity. Establish rules about her behavior and make your expectations clear. If she violates your trust by lying about who she is with, or if you catch her using social media apps she is not supposed to use, give her consequences.

A Word From Verywell

If you find that your daughter’s boy-crazy behavior causes her problems, such as getting in trouble at school or struggling with her friendships, you may want to seek professional help. Talk to her doctor or contact a mental health professional. Sometimes, certain mental health issues can lead to hypersexual behavior. Whether or not your daughter is coping with a specific mental health issue, she may need some support in learning new social skills or developing a healthier self-image.

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Article Sources

  • Delpriore DJ, Hill SE. The effects of paternal disengagement on women’s sexual decision making: An experimental approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 2013;105(2):234-246. DOI: 10.1037/a0032784

  • Parkes A, Henderson M, Wight D, Nixon C. Is Parenting Associated with Teenagers’ Early Sexual Risk-Taking, Autonomy And Relationship with Sexual Partners? Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. 2011;43(1):30-40. DOI: 10.1363/4303011