I was a girl mom first. I knew nothing about the world of boys and therefore wrongly assumed God would only give me girls! When little boy playmates charged into my house and left a tornado in their wake I thought they were “wild.” And when they stomped through the mud at the playground I thought their moms were crazy!
Apparently my toddler daughter did, too, because one day when her best friend (a little boy) was more interested in the mud puddles than the slide, she started crying that he was messy! This all makes me laugh now! With sons fourteen and twelve I’ve come along way (for the best, my husband would say) in not just tolerating the world of boys, but fully embracing and loving the life they bring.
I am back to a new stage though of seeing things from a boy mom perspective. When my daughter was their age, I remember girls hanging out in my kitchen giggling about cute boys. While I am sure they secretively tried to pry the boys in to saying who they liked or thought was cute (I mean, we even did that thirty years ago) the girls were not overt about it. But in just the few short years since that time, our selfie/cell phone culture has changed things and I’m struck by how aggressilvely forward pre-teen girls can be.
Now as I sit in the kitchen listening to my sixth grade son and his friends talk about the girls who like them (which is normal at this age) I hear annoyance. Girls, many whom they don’t even know, are private messaging them on social media, leaving notes in their lockers and bolding asking for their numbers and even asking them out!
It’s not that the boys aren’t also starting to notice the girls, but the brazenness of the girls’ actions are not only not attractive to them, it creeps them out! At least for my son and his few friends, who that very evening were outside far more interested in collecting lizards and having Nerf gun wars.
As a mom observing all this, I realize girls mature faster but I see them rushing into things that has shortened childhood and ushered in the pre-teen/teen-age stage at too young of an age. I can’t completely blame them as it’s not new for kids to want to grow up and move on to the next. As parents it is our job to not just accept everything going on, but we should use it as a springboard to teach and shape their hearts.
How to enter in and reach our kids’ hearts can be a blog post all its own, as could the topic of parents banding together and being the parent! In fact, I think I will write on one or both of those ideas soon. Because really apart from our contrary influence, our young daughters and sons will continue to act according to what they see their peers doing and what it is they desire.
Kids at this age desperately want acceptance and attention. So for many middle school girls in particular, they falsely believe being connected to a boy will give them greater identity and worth. And, it’s not so much about who the boy is (which is evident in the fact some of the girls have approached multiple boys in a row to find one who will “go out” with her), but just someone to attach themselves to.
Above all what middle school girls need to know is that no boy can give or add value to them because they already have infinite value from their Creator King! But the more they seek and the harder they try to get their identity from a disinterested pimply junior high boy the more insecurity will settle into their souls.
No boy will ever perfectly meet the unrealistic expectations put on them, nor were they meant to. Security for the girls in this most vulnerable age (and any other age for that matter) can only come in being firmly rooted to Christ. And when He is their source of all things, they won’t need to play the pursuer of any boy, but can stand confident in God’s relentless pursuit for their very best.