limsiokhwa asks:

8 yrs old behavioral problem

My 8yrs old girl recently had been sharing with me girl boy relationship eg. kissing etc... and her liking for boy.  She would also like to imagine others doing things eg. she would imagine her form teacher kissing her boyfriend.  I was very concerned and worried as to why is she behaving in this manner?  
And another issue was my 8 yrs old girl has also been telling me that she would answer back the other person's question in her heart. Let me show you an example, like she was telling me that when her maths tuition teacher told her not to cover her answer when she is writing.  She just keep quiet but inside her heart she would answer him "I did not cover my answer, it was that you can't see it".  And many other incidences that she would answer others back in her heart instead of telling them direct.  Why was it so I was very worried?  Earnestly awaiting for your answers.  Thank you very much.
Member Added on Mar 14, 2009

I forgotten to mention that my 8 years old girl would imaging or say words like "I think I am going to die or i wanted to die" or she would say words like "DIE".  
Do i need professional help?
Kindly advise the lost and worried mum.
Earnestly awaiting for your reply.

from lost and worried mum
In Topics: Friendships and peer relationships
> 60 days ago



Mar 13, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Dear limishiokhwa,

Thanks for your question. I imagine there are many other parents with similar questions who can benefit from your experiences, and the advice you receive on this discussion board.

First, you asked about your daughter's interest in boys. It is not uncommon for children between the ages of 5-12 to begin to develop romantic interest in their peers. Your daughter's interest in boys is quite typical at this point. In western culture there is a large focus on the romantic notion of dating and children are also exposed to these ideas through television and other forms of media. They internalize the romantic notions of love and often explore these themes through fantasy and play with peers. It sounds like your daughter is testing some of these ideas and themes out.

Second, you asked about your daughter's reluctance to express herself with others. Many experts have noted that girls, in particular, are prone to "silence" themselves as they enter early adolescence. It is believed that girls silence themselves because they feel the need to adhere to some idea of what girls/women are like - quiet, demure, not demanding. In addition, as children develop, they become more aware of what others think of them (children in early childhood are more "egocentric" - more focused upon what is in their mind). As children develop a sense of what others think about them, that others have opinions of them, many children change their behavior in accordance with what they believe others expect of them, so that others will like them. I believe that your daughter may be afraid that her peers and adults in her life will still accept her if they hear what is "in her heart." Thus, she keeps quiet to appease others.

You can encourage your daughter to express herself, explaining the importance of being honest with others. Let her know that when she is honest with others about what she is thinking and feeling, the people in her life will be better prepared to meet her needs and give her what she wants. You can also role model this behavior for your daughter. Talk with your daughter about times that you were tempted to "keep quiet" about what you were really thinking and explain how you resolved the situation.

Good luck, and I look forward to hearing the responses of others on this important topic!

L. Compian, Ph.D.
Counseling Psychologist Expert Panel

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