The day before Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl: On Her Journey from Neediness to Freedom was released, I received the following email from a mom looking for some help:
I have three girls ages seven, five, and two. And now I'm watching my nine-year-old niece who is crazy boy crazy. Like she couldn't make a choice of paper color until "boy A" chose his . . . when she was in preschool!
I really want to be able to help so she can not be distracted by the cute boys or men she's around. Do you have any advice? How can I help them think? How can I help them act? If it is a personal weakness, are there habits to instill that will help? Activities, shows, books to avoid? Anything you can think of would be appreciated. I will be reading your book and trying to see how to apply your wisdom to this job. Thanks and look forward to the read!
With fear and trembling—since when does a single girl know how to parent?!—I responded to her email. With her permission, I'd like to share our email exchange with you, as I'm quite certain she's not the only mom out there wondering about this:
I love your heart for your girls (and your sister's girl). God, would You please flood [her] with Your wisdom?
Truth be told, I've never been married or parented, so I feel rather unqualified to answer your questions. However, I can tell you this. Boy craziness is really just girl neediness. Boys will never ultimately fill the ache your girls feel inside for love. They were made by and for God, and nothing less will do.
While watching what they intake from culture will definitely help, their greatest need still remains repenting of their sin and falling in love with Jesus. I wish I'd been taught the truths found in Romans 6 when I was a young girl: that in Christ I am now dead to sin, alive to God, and in Christ Jesus.
I'd really encourage you to keep the lines of communication open with your girls. Don't be satisfied with outward behavior modification; focus on what's going on in their hearts. You may want to pick up Elyse Fitzpatrick's Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus. I haven't read it yet, but I love everything by Elyse and hope to purchase it this month.
Other resources I'd recommend: The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. Every page/story points to Jesus—it's one of my favorite books ever.
Also, Josh McDowell and his wife have written Straight Talk with Your Kids About Sex about how and when to talk to your kids about sex. You'd be surprised by what they recommend.
Better than books, though, I'd encourage you to reach out to older women in your church for wisdom and mentoring. There is no overnight fix; just daily life-on-life as the girls grow and are constantly being taught in the teachable moments the Lord gives.
I breathed a sigh of relief, grateful to be done dishing out parenting advice. But not for long! Shortly after I pushed send, Rebecca Ingram Powell asked to interview me for Lifeway's ParentLife magazine. That's right—a publication for parents of zero to twelve year olds!
Praying all the way, I thought more about parenting boy-crazy girls. And as I did, I began to wish I'd told this mom one main thing.
Kids are smart—they see through the veneer of what adults claim—and hope—to love to what truly captures their parents' hearts.
See, in my experience, kids pick up not so much what parents say but how they live. Kids are smart—they see through the veneer of what adults claim—and hope—to love to what truly captures their parents' hearts.
Turns out the solution boy-crazy girls most need is the very thing moms of boy-crazy girls need. Both need to taste and see just how crazy good God really is. Both need to repent of the "little g" gods they worship and love the "big G" God with all their hearts.
Isn't that how Moses instructed parents in Deuteronomy 6, after all? Just before he tells parents to teach God's law diligently to their kids when they sit down, when they take walks, when they lie down, and when they get up, he says this:
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. (And then) You shall teach them diligently to your children . . .
If Christ is your treasure, mom, your life will light the way for your boy-crazy daughter. Because there really is only one way out of boy-craziness, and that is finding Someone to love even more than boys.