The pre-teen years can be a tumultuous, in-between time for parents and kids. The precarious space between child and teen into almost-adult can be exhilarating as well as confusing. Pre-teen boys who have a crush may act in all sorts of new ways to make sense of their feelings, as well as gain the attention of their crush. Talking with boys about how they feel can diffuse some of the confusion and allow them to appreciate this time in life.
This author's 10-year-old son, Martin, shares that pre-teen boys who have a crush might take something from their crush in playful connection -- you know, like take a pencil or notebook in school. They might also pick on their crush, call names or even be kind of mean. Often, this increase of attention in a negative way comes from not really knowing how to connect with a girl in other ways or just because the boy feels uncomfortable. Since this type of play is sure to get attention it can be helpful to acknowledge it while clearly saying stop if necessary.
Lots of Attention
Pre-teen boys may just start hanging around their new interest a lot more. According to Rachel Chemerynksi, who writes at girlslife.com, he may want to play on the play ground, be more interested in what the crush does in her spare time or his friends might even start wanting to be in the mix. He wants to get closer to his crush and spend time getting to know what she's all about. He likes the way he feels about her and talks with his friends, even if in secret, about how he feels.
Once he feels comfortable, if he gets to this point, he may ask for a phone number to talk, to do something together like go to a family event, movie or school dance. Some boys never call, which can be frustrating, says Audrey Fine, writing for seventeen.com. However, they may still be working through their discomfort about the newness of actually talking to their crush. Letting a boy know there is mutual interest may help him know it's safe to call and have a conversation.
Although a boy may be noticing his crush in new ways and treating her differently than other girls, he may also feel really shy. He may admire from a distance at first, which may feel awkward because he increases his attention through looking at her a lot, but doesn't say much.
Help Him Out
Talking about relationships may not be the most comfortable parenting topic to address, but it can really help. Michelle Piazzoni, who writes at ocfamily.com, suggests starting a conversation with your pre-teen by making statements or asking open-ended questions. For example, you could simply notice your pre-teen's new interest and say, "You sound excited when you talk about her" or "It's fun to feel new feelings, isn't it?" Let your pre-teen know it's normal and healthy to have these new feelings as you listen to how he feels and keep the conversation open.
- George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images