Whether she's doodling a new last name or texting her BFF what she's planning to wear to school the next day, keep in mind that a crush can pretty much consume your teen girl's world. Teen boys and teen girls typically react differently to having an object of affection. You might find that your daughter relishes the behavior that goes along with a crush -- almost as much as she relishes a certain boy. Knowing what's normal and what's not can help you take your teen's crushes as they come, all the while watching for risky behavior.
Don't be alarmed if your teen seems completely preoccupied when she has a crush. A crush can be all encompassing to a teen girl, affecting her school, social and personal life. While it's normal to talk to her friends about her crush, chat on the computer or even daydream about him, it becomes problematic when an obsession disrupts her life or puts her at risk for the pain and depression of rejection. As a parent, acknowledge obsessive behavior as normal, but put a stop to anything that has a negative effect on your teen's life, feelings or self-worth by seeking professional help if necessary.
One of the worst things that a parent can do is belittle a teen who has a crush, warns Dr. Carl Pickhardt in an article for the Psychology Today website. It's not unusual for a teen girl to take her crush pretty seriously -- and she won't appreciate you making light of the situation. Remember that to your teen, a crush is often akin to a real relationship and her first experiences with romantic love. Pickhardt notes that because a teen crush can carry intense feelings, parents need to take it seriously.
While teen boys usually keep their crushes to themselves, teen girls usually aren't afraid to be vocal and dramatic about their crushes. Girls tend to be extremely open about all sorts of personal issues -- crushes included -- because they're just more talkative than boys in general, notes personal counselor Amanda James on Dartnewsonline, the student news website for St. Teresa's Academy. While you might be tired of hearing about it, it's not unusual for a teen girl to want to continue to rehash every detail about her crush.
Some teen girls feel awkward about their feelings for a peer, especially if it's a first crush. This is especially true if her crush seems unattainable and she doesn't experience reciprocated feelings. While it's OK to ask your teen about her feelings and her crush, prying might cause her to retreat and share less with you. While teen girls are naturally more open about their feelings than teen boys, keep in mind that some might feel awkward about their new emotions and the experiences that go with them. Be sensitive when dealing with your teen's behavior and expect a roller coaster of emotions when it comes to your teen's crushes.