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Why has my ten years old daughter developed infatuation?

Q: My 10 years old daughter is a good student. She participates in extra curricular activities and also writes poem worth mentioning. But, recently we received a complaint from one of her classmates' mother that they are involved in some game like marriage, motherhood, love etc. During the game they exchange cards with love signs using words like love, kiss, pregnancy etc. We are surprised to know that she has developed some fondness towards a son of my colleague. She also told us that she has lied to us on several occasions and stolen money from her piggybank to purchase small things like glitter pen, fancy pencils etc. How can her stealing habit be corrected?

A:I think you should avoid using words like "infatuation" and "stealing". These labels make the situation appear more serious than it is. In all the advertisements and TV programmes, there is so much material about being attractive, falling in love and so on. It does seem as if your child is a bit early in this development, but it would be better if you treated it lightly. Having a "crush" on a boy may be part of the process of growing up. One would expect such behaviour at 14, so 10 seem early. But it is a phase of development and of no serious consequence. You should explain to her clearly, the changes to expect in her body as she grows. These days, Valentine's Day apart, there are printed cards available with explicit suggestions. So the environment has changed and we should help children cope with it and caution them against experimentation and excess. Have a discussion with your friends and with her teachers if possible. Be gentle, rather than strict and laugh it off. So will she, in a year or two.

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