27 Sep
My Nine Year Old Has a Crush! And It’s Not on Me!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I just found out from my seventh grader daughter (who has shown no interest in boys) that my fourth grade son has a crush on a girl in his class! I don’t know whether to be relieved that he has no weird Oedipal tendencies (I have a few ‘different drummers’ on my side of the family tree) or ticked off that some 9-year-old tartlet has stolen my son’s heart. He actually asked me the other day “When did Dad first tell you he loved you?” I was speechless, which is a rare occurrence indeed.

How should I respond to this budding romance? Nip it or humor it?


Whatever Happened to Mama’s Boy?


Dear Mama,

Nine years old, huh?  That’s what we in the Big City call a “late bloomer.” I’m not even going to try to guess what’s going on with your crush-less daughter, but I would recommend that you keep an eye on it, and unless she starts crushing and soon, report back to us for further guidance.

I think it’s sweet that your son has a crush and that he’s seeking your advice.   He looks to you and his dad as role models and that’s wonderful.   So although you may be tempted to respond with “Daddy said he loved me after he finished college and his mother was dead and buried” to his question, I’d suggest humoring him with the truth.

Don’t lay it on too thick. When my kids hinted at the crush-word, I went all out.   I started with a brisk discussion about different types of love, segued into all sorts of feelings that people may have towards each other, peppered it with “you’re absolutely normal” and other statements of healthy validation and finished and warnings about safety that may have done permanent damage.

I’m guessing by their never mentioning any crushes since and avoiding all eye contact with me means I overdid it.

So in the grand tradition of “Do as I say and not as I do,” I suggest that you answer your son’s questions honestly and let him know that you and his dad are available if he wants to chat more about it.   And keep an eye on his beloved.   My cousin met his future ex-wife when he was eight.   You never know.


Marinka, TMH

21 Responses to “My Nine Year Old Has a Crush! And It’s Not on Me!”


Comment by Vodka Tonic.

In fourth grade, I was crushed on by a semi-amateur ballroom-dance-style rollerskater. Despite his jazzy sequined vests, I was not interested. Until he called me up and cranked up the radio. It was Lionel Richie, crooning, “I just called… to say… I love you.”

That was enough embarrassment for me to never make eye contact with him again.

So if you want to squash this, either get him into a sparkly vest, or have a long-distance dedication over the phone.

JubanMama Reply:

VT, you sure that was Lionel and not Stevie?

Tikikat12265 Reply:

Well if you want to good impresion then just say hi your hair looks nice or something just complament her and I bet she will be flaterd cause a boy has a crush on me right now! And I’m in fourth grade .


Comment by Desperate Dietwives.

How do you mean, “some 9-year-old tartlet has stolen my son’s heart”??? Are you already suffering from mother-in-law sindrome? 😉
Your kid is starting on his way to independence. I call this healthy.
Just start getting used to the fact that he won’t hang around you forever, and for God’s sake, don’t start thinking of any girl who attracts his attention as a tartlet: maybe the poor lass is not even aware of his interest and has a crush on somebody else…


Comment by red pen mama.

My 3yo and 5yo daughters regularly develop crushes (although they would not know to use that word) on boys. From their 7-year-old cousins, to the 9-year-old neighbor, to (gulp) the 20-year-old boy babysitter I used in a pinch. (He was cute.) Should I be worried? Because I’m really not.


Comment by Lisa.

Wow. I know (hope?) she is just trying to be cute and funny with her 9-year-old tartlet comment, but come on! THAT is where you go?

Marinka, you really shoulda given her a good slap upside the head for that one.


Comment by Wendi.

I think the only crush my 9 year old son has is on Adrien Peterson, the QB for the Vikings. That’s nothing to worry about, right?

red pen mama Reply:

I’m sorry to be such a stickler: Peterson is the RB (running back) for the Vikings. And he *was* fantastic last game.

Tikikat12265 Reply:

What do you mean *was*


Comment by StephanieG.

I wish mine had waited until 9. LittleG, who is 6, came home a year ago, talking about “Hot Connor.” When I asked her what defined a “hot” boy, she said, “I can’t tell you want it means mom, because you won’t let me use that word.” I braced for the worst and pushed her just a bit.

Turns out a “hot” boy at 5 is “handsome and sexy” (her words, not mine). Now Hot Connor is in her class and sometimes sits at the same table with her.

On those days, she comes home giggly and silly.

I wish we had made it until 9.

I am just doing my best to talk with her now in whatever capacity she will allow, because I know if she can’t talk to me at 6, she damn sure won’t be able to do it at 16.

Good luck with the tartlet. 9 year olds can be such skanks.

Tikikat12265 Reply:



Comment by Melissa.

9 yo is way late for the first crush. He should be feeling the burn of being spurned by another boy by now, and then the feeling of triumph when she gets jealous that he is crushing on someone else.

PS – 9 yo’s are not tarts. They are little girls.

Tikikat12265 Reply:

See she gets it ok now I just think there just trying to be mean

Antonio Reply:

Melissa: “He should be feeling the burn of being spurned by another boy by now”
U mean girl, right?


Comment by JubanMama.

I think you are missing a golden opportunity here: get a girl that your son actually likes, respects, and listens to on your side.

It’s what my own mother-in-law did with me, and now my poor husband has no idea what hit him when she and I tag-team.


Comment by annie.

As a mother of 3 girls, none of them tarlets that I know of, it’s not their fault if somebody crushes on them. One little boy told my middle daughter she had “beautifulhair like spun copper and gold” last year – age 9. I hope his mom was more understanding. I thought it was sweet!

Tikikat12265 Reply:



Comment by Plano Mom.

Just starting for my 11 year old. But he has a facebook page, so I can keep up even when he won’t talk to me.

As they get older, talk to them in the car. They don’t have to look at you, so often they’ll open up.

And no, 9 year old girls are not tarts until they start sending the nude pics. Then they’re called victims.


Comment by Eva Elbert.

I had my first crush in 1st Grade.Now 3 years later,I still am crushing on the same guy.I think it’s really cute. that your son likes a girl!Just don’t make a big deal about it,that’s called Silent Treatment to Mom!


Comment by Samira.

That is totally ok☺☺☺☺☺


Comment by Samira.

It’s fine but awwwww how cute

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