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My seven year old daughter is fascinated with boys already and has 28 of them lined up to "marry" her. She flirts like crazy and frankly, it is amazing to watch how she can get these boys to do just about anything she asks - and I don't think she even realizes how wrapped around her finger she has them. I think the fact that they "fall in line" so easily makes her believe she can marry them if she wants that much more - maybe she will marry one of them one day (one never knows really), but for now, I wish she'd just give it a rest.

Just the other day she also told me, "I think I've got boobs coming mom. How long til I can actually get married?" She doesn't really, but she is excited about the idea of it so believes it anyway.

I know girls are obsessed with marriage sometimes, but this is actually pretty crazy. My husband and I have had a few laughs over it, but it also gets us a little nervous sometimes too.

How common is this? How do I chill her out a little and not be so anxious and obsessed about it? and should I be worried about it getting worse in adolescence or is it just a "practicing" phase?

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So happy I have a boy, things like this would keep my up worrying for weeks at a time. I think my solution would be to move to Antarctica. :) –  Dave Nelson Nov 23 '13 at 14:13
    
Hmm. . . move to Antarctica. Well, we'll have to buy some parkas, make sure we have lots of rations, rent/buy an ice-breaking ship . . . LOL! –  balanced mama Nov 23 '13 at 14:14
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Ok, here are some of my thoughts:

1) I think age 7 is a pretty common age when kids (girls especially) start viewing the opposite sex as more than just a friend, and they start to realize that, eventually, those opposite-sex relationships will develop into more. I can remember that we started having "boyfriends" in second grade or so. I mean, it was stupid and it never amounted to anything (I don't know anyone who married their second-grade boyfriend).

2) She probably has noticed some girls around her age all ready developing breasts. I was at her age, unfortunately. This is an obvious outward sign that some of her classmates/friends are starting to "grow up" and it can be exciting and intriguing for them. OMG! The bru-ha-ha that ensued when a girl came to school wearing a bra for the first time in elementary school! It was practically a rite of passage.

3) The good thing is that most seven year olds probably have no clue what those "something more" relationships are going to mean (sex, marriage, etc.). Some have a vague idea that there are people who are boyfriend/girlfriend, but there are some kids who are more worldly and can start over-sharing information that is questionable for seven-year-old ears. It might be time to start having "the talk" with her or at least reinforcing things you've all ready talked about before.

4) It's probably not that she's obsessed with marriage so much as what marriage represents: people who are married are grown ups and grown ups can do whatever they want to do. At least, that's what kids and teenagers think.

5) She might not be aware 100% that she's able to wrap these boys around her finger--she probably doesn't even realize that she's being a little flirtatious with them. She just thinks she's being friendly and nice. But she is probably perfectly aware that she is able to get boys to do things for her and that can feel empowering for anyone. If it were my daughter (who is blessedly only three right now), I would encourage her to think carefully and make sure she's not "abusing her power". Remind her that these boys are her friends and she should treat them kindly as friends--she should not ask them to do things that she wouldn't ask her other friends to do. You and I both grew up with girls who learned early on to manipulate boys to get what they wanted and that's not how you want your daughter to be.

It sounds to me like she's being pretty normal and she's just using marriage as a way of expressing herself because this can all be pretty complex for a seven year old. Encourage healthy relationships and friendships. Maybe she's seeking a little more responsibility and freedom to be a little more "grown up" and maybe you can give her that. Maybe it is time to go pick out a training bra? I don't know--that's between you and her.

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"these boys are her friends and she should treat them kindly as friends" - wise words for any age! –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Nov 25 '13 at 8:29
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