'Extreme Flirt' Toddler Girl Might Be Headed for Trouble

Awww! 15

This is not Nadya
My friend claims her 16-month-old daughter is an "extreme flirt." She actually is quite concerned about it. She says her daughter, let's call her Nadya, loves men too much. That whenever she sees a male -- be it boy toddler or an elderly doorman -- she'll get a dreamy, spacey look in her eyes, bat her eyelashes, and, mouth agape, utter something like, "Hiiiii, big stud" in a breathy Marilyn Monroe-like voice. (Okay, she doesn't say "big stud.") My friend fears she is in for all kinds of trouble when Nadya is old enough to start school and will be around boys all day. Seriously, she is WORRIED about this.

When I asked my friend to imitate what Nadya does when she sees a male, my friend placed her hands on her hips, began swaying provocatively, batted her lashes rapidly, bit her lip, and began waving. When I gushed, "Aww, but that's cute, isn't it?" my friend got a gleam of dread in her eyes.

And what does Nadya do when she sees a female? My friend stood stock still and got a slack look of devastating boredom on her face.

Now, mind you, my friend is no prude who expects "girl children" to be little nuns. I've known her since before she was married, and I think she'd be fine with my telling you (as her husband would be) that my friend did her fair share of "flirting" in her 20s. Sometimes it -- gasp! -- went beyond flirting. In fact, I joked that Nadya probably inherited her flirtatious behavior from her mom. But that didn't soothe my friend.

So let's just say this description of Nadya's behavior is accurate. What is my friend worried about? Well, a whole host of things. She's worried her daughter will be an early sexual starter. In her nightmares, she sees a line of boys outside their apartment, and I think in her mind, this line starts around third grade. But she is also concerned that Nadya's penchant for the boys will mean flirtation takes precedence over school work and study. My friend also envisions a lifetime of Nadya using her feminine wiles to get what she wants instead of using her brains and work ethic -- which means she may never develop those qualities.

I should probably mention that when I asked my friend's husband if he'd observed this same behavior in Nadya, he scoffed and said, "Not at all!" But maybe his daughter just has him under her flirty, girly spell.

I should also add that Nadya is my friend's first child, so maybe she's just exaggerating the entire thing -- or doesn't quite know what is heteronormative toddler behavior. Only time will tell if Nadya turns out to be the next Hillary Clinton -- or the next Shakira.

Can toddler girls be extreme flirts? Is it something to worry about?


Image via Tammra McCauley/Flickr

girls, toddler development


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corri... corrinacs

I have no idea, but if my baby's inclinations towarsd girls mean anything, I'm in a heap of trouble.  He's 13 months old and for months now has been trying to woo girls everywhere LOL

Doomy234 Doomy234

I have friends whose sons are always flirting with their other friends' daughters on play dates. Idk. Maybe kids see how much their parents flirt with each other and think thats what they are supposed to do? I think that some kids are just more friendly towards one gender or the other, or more friendly in general

BethA... BethAnnJay

My 2 yr old daughter does the same thing!! And it started at 3 months.....If any male (all ages and races) is in the room, she will bat her lashes, smile and say "Hi!!". But a female?? She gives them "the stank eye" and a disgusted look! It's weird, but funny to me. I'm not worried but I sure will be watching her a little closer as she grows up!

nonmember avatar kaerae

Why, oh why do people assign sexual motives to toddlers? Maybe she likes the deep voices or maybe she just loves her daddy and they remind her of him, maybe her mom is anal and dad/men are more playful and fun. I think calling it "flirting" is stupid. Flirting is intentional when one has a romantic/physical/sexual attraction to someone. Why on earth you would label something your innocent baby does is beyond me. Your friend has issues. I hope she quits projecting onto her poor kid!

Donna Merkle

My granddaughter has the cutest way of saying "HI" to people. She just sounds like the sweetest Southern Belle. Every child has a different way of vocalizing when they are learning to talk. When children learn to become shy or stand-off'ish and won't even look at you, it's those time that you wish you could hear them say HI. Leave them alone. It's just a stage. Enjoy it. Don't make something out of it that it's not.

cajun... cajun_lady_swla

It's a known fact that babies and toddlers play the "flirt" card with people older than themselves. And yes, they tend to gravitate more toward the opposite sex. It's innate and critical to their socialization skills.

It's also a survival mechanism. A male that finds a baby cute will be less inclined to hurt/kill it and a female's gushy instincts take over when a big pair of eyes bats their lashes at them. The same behavior exists in animals as well, and most of it will pass as long as mom doesn't make a big deal out of it. :)

Courtney Cifuni

If shes that concerned she can send her to an all girls school....geez the kid is probably just amazed by how fun guys are....hell i had no female friends for most of my life bc my guy friends were less catty and fun to hang with

Scarlett Rose Valdez

sounds to me like she just has daddy wrapped around her little finger, and is doing the same thing around other men, thinking she can get away with more with men than with women.

lilbu... lilbunnyhops

m daughter has always like "men" more when she was little.  she is 7 and seems to have mellowed out a little.  she always spent alot of time with me and her step mother.  she was around women, and little brother, most of the time.  she always seemed to get realy excited about seeing Grandps, my nephew, my sister boyfriend.  She would talk about the guys more then the women.  I think it is jut because men were a "novelty", she was around women all the time.  Now that she is in school she seems to have mellowd out.

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