My teenage daughter is a “crushaholic.” She’s constantly seeking affirmation from boys, and she’s either high as a kite or sad and depressed depending on the attention she gets. Is this normal?
Answer: The physical, mental, and emotional changes that happen during the teen years can be intense, especially for young girls.
As with many developmental issues, this one has roots that are good. Puberty floods a teen girl’s brain with hormones that awaken her heart to relationship, love, and romance. But without proper boundaries, the longing to be desirable to members of the opposite sex can spiral to where a girl believes her worth is dependent on a guy’s validation. It can become an obsession leading young girls into relationships that they don’t have the emotional maturity to handle. When a relationship goes wrong, a girl feels like her life is falling apart.
What can a parent say to help a teenager who’s experienced a broken heart? Don’t say anything at all. At first. Just put your arms around her, hold her, let her cry, and help her to rebuild the foundation of trust and understanding of a loving relationship. When it is time to speak, don’t minimise or trivialise her feelings. She’ll probably think this is the worst thing that has ever happened to her, and at this point in her life it may be.
If you haven’t yet, you’ll want to begin helping her learn to navigate a culture that is saturated with unhealthy messages about sexuality and relationships. You can’t shield her from it, but you can equip her with the tools to manage it.
To help your teen daughter thrive in her relationships, explore our Resources.
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