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christine215's avatar

Would you say that she has a ‘crush’ or that she’s ‘obsessed’?

Asked by christine215 (3158 points ) May 31st, 2011

What’s the collective’s gut reaction?
My daughter is a tweener and I’m starting to think maybe her ‘crush’ is heading in an unhealthy direction. She’s in “Love” with Taylor Lautner. She has her entire bedroom wall-papered in his pictures, including the ceiling. She has a life sized cut out of him, she refers to herself with the last name Lautner or Mrs. Lautner, she has cyber stalked him (no I’m not even kidding) to the point that she asked me for my credit card number so that she could buy an Intellus property/e-mail/phone search. (um, no!) yet somehow she has what she thinks is a valid property/tax record with an address.
I took her bank out of her room when this happened and deposited every last dime into a her account (overdue to do that anyway) I was afraid she’d buy a bus ticket and head out to California. She has said to me with a straight face (though I can never tell if she’s pulling my chain) that once he meets her, Taylor will without a doubt fall in love with her… and then she smiles and I don’t know if she’s serious or not,
Once I told her that the chances of her actually meeting him and holding a conversation with him were so small, that she shouldn’t really get her hopes up. She looked at me and said with confidence, “you wait and see, Mom. I will get to meet him one of these days”

She’s still doing very well in school, she still has lots of friends, she’s doing well in every other way…do you think she’s obsessed and do you think it’s getting out of hand?

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19 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

It is really difficult to say without really knowing your daughter’s personality. You bring up the most important things, however, and that is that she is not neglecting her real social life or her schoolwork in order to focus on this celebrity. I wouldn’t panic, yet, personally.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t know if this is helpful, but I know the behavior isn’t uncommon. You should watch that documentary about Justin Bieber and you’ll see what I mean.

On the other hand, there was an article in last weeks New Yorker about a schizophrenic woman who had an object of affection who barely knew her. Yet she referred to herself as Mrs. So-and-so, even though she didn’t know where he was.

So your daughter reminds me of both. That can’t be comforting. I think I’d ask a professional.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Your mom-intuition is telling you something: It’s time for professional assistance. Contact a child psychologist in your area.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@SpatzieLover you really think so?

I remember being this age and having friends that had behavior that easily compared to what this mom is describing. Now they are all perfectly well adjusted, normal adults. @christine215 herself essentially said that she can’t tell when the child is being serious or when she is just being silly and day-dreamy.

I’m not trying to argue with you, I’m just wondering if you really think this is a job for a pro, and not normal for an enthusiastic pre-teen girl?

marinelife's avatar

You may need to tackle her obsession with celebrity. Why does she think Taylor Lautner is so hot? Ask her to explain it to you.

Tell her that he has a life outside of acting and relationships.

The cyber stalking is pretty over the top.

It sounds a little more than the normal teenage thing.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf I really think so, or would not have stated so. Here’s what hits me as “atypical”:
*she has what she thinks is a valid property/tax record with an address
*She has said to me with a straight face (though I can never tell if she’s pulling my chain) that once he meets her, Taylor will without a doubt fall in love with her
*Mom has had conversations with her about this, and teen is holding this rigid belief that she will meet him

None of it would sit well with me as a mom. It’s a bit too much. I can see the pics, and the “Mrs. Lautner” as being typical for a “crush”...all the rest has gone too far. Mom’s tried to get through, but still felt she needed to keep quick cash away from her daughter. There are red flags here that need to be addressed with a professional.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@SpatzieLover fair enough. I agree that some of the behavior is not “normal,” but I’m not quick to call it “abnormal,” either. I also question the personality of the girl, I think that plays a huge factor. She may be more vocal about her desires and assertions, but that may not mean that she realistically believes them.

I would be concerned if her grades dropped, if she stopped socializing with friends or family, showed signs of depression or anxiety… or worse, of course. Running away or actually stealing would be major indications that something is severely wrong.

Having said that, being someone that grew up with OCD, I think there is a difference between enthusiastic and playful daydreaming, and genuine obsession. Obsession creates anxiety, tension, fear, frustration. I’m not sure that I’m picking that up from this post, but if those things seem to exist.. then I do agree that a professional should be sought. Otherwise, I’d just talk to her and keep an eye on it. Just my two cents.

christine215's avatar

I know everyone says this but… “I have a really smart kid” she’s not just book smart, she’s kind of street smart too, so if any kid her age COULD figure out how to get from one coast to another, it would be her
I figured if she was crafty enough to find property tax records, that she could be crafty enough to get herself a bus ticket… I don’t think that she WOULD do something like that, but I’d hate myself if I didn’t take the precaution

@ANef_is_Enuf there is no anxiety, fear, frustration, tension… she’s happy. Her behavior hasn’t changed, her interactions with her friends remains at a healthy level. My husband says it’s a blessing in disguise, because as long as she’s “saving” herself for Taylor Lautner she’s not interested in any boys at school. (insert eye roll here)
I just wonder if she’s teetering somewhere between obsessed and a crush..

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@christine215 although other parents have voiced their concerns, I have to say that speaking from a very familiar place, I think you’re doing okay. You’re aware, you’re paying attention, you’re already taking precautions. I think that if any of those things change that you should definitely consider consulting a professional… but it doesn’t sound like genuine “obsession” to me. Not in the mental health sense of the word, anyhow.

I think your husband is on to something, really. I think your daughter wants a fantasy outlet, and this happens to be what works for her. Some kids play video games or prank call their crush from school (well, they did when I was a kid.. I dunno if that still applies in today’s high tech world)... so I think the desire to have a fantasy is normal. She may just be a very focused, goal driven child… and there is nothing wrong with that. Especially if her crush on Taylor Lautner turns into a penchant for biochemistry or trigonometry in the future.

I’m no professional myself, but I do speak from experience. An obsessed child… an obsessed person, can not let go. There is fear and frustration there, it isn’t a joyous thing. If you start to see signs of depression or anxiety, I would tackle it immediately, but I think that just keeping an eye on her for now is really the best move.

flutherother's avatar

It’s a crush that she is taking a bit far but I think it will blow over. It’s good that she is telling you about it and that she has a good social life with her friends. I would simply raise an eyebrow in a sceptical way every time the name Taylor Lautner is mentioned and remind her gently that stalking is an offence.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Just a thought…does your daughter have a competitive streak? If so, this may be why she is so adamant on being “the one for him.” I just remember what was like when The Partridge Family came out, and we all wanted to be David Cassidy’s girl. We all plastered the walls with posters, collected the trading cards, and bought the albums. One friend even decorated her trashcan with a collage of his pictures from teen magazines. If the internet existed back then, we would have been on it for the latest tidbit of information on his life. This might just be a way for her to be the ‘winner’ within her circle of friends.

chyna's avatar

I think it is over the top, with the cyber stalking and trying to find his address out. I think I would keep better track of her computer time and what she is doing on the computer.

snowberry's avatar

Ditto for what @chyna says.

BarnacleBill's avatar

The cyberstalking takes it over the top. Isn’t there some episodes of the Brady Bunch where Jan crushes on some star? Back in the pre-internet day, it was easier to channel it through fan clubs—I seem to remember my sister being convinced that 1) she was going to be Mrs. Peter York of the Monkees and failing that, 2) Prince Charles was going to fall in love with her and marry her. She even had a penpal in England in hopes that she could talk our parents into letting her visit so she could run into Prince Charles.

It was her friends laughing at her that put an end to it, although to this day, I still think she thought she could be Mrs. Peter York for longer than that…

What you are going to need to do is be vigilant about what you can/should be controlling. It sounds like contolling funds and controlling internet access need due diligence. She is being a normal ridiculous pre-teen, and needs to be gently reminded that it’s all fantasy in her head, and that while it would be nice to think that she’s going to be the future Mrs. Taylor Lautner, the reality is that she has ___ years before dating her won’t get Taylor Lautner thrown in jail. The other conversation, which you may not be ready to have with her, is that he seems to set off a lot of people’s gaydar. He’s making his money off of vampire-obsessed Christian teenage girls; if he is gay, then coming out of the closet is not in his best financial interests.

As long as she’s doing well in school, and is hanging out with friends, I would keep an eye on the internet activity, and not take it too seriously.

christine215's avatar

Thank you all for your responses, @BarnacleBill, I kinda thought that he was giving off the vibe too, but alas, I was in love with Ricky Martin and I failed to see what was blatantly obvious to many people (ha ha ha)

Buttonstc's avatar

Are you regularly checking her browser history files when she’s at school for the day?

Is she erasing the history files ? If so, that’s not a good sign.

You might want to consider making an appt. with a child psychologist (for yourself just as a consultation) to get some feedback from a professional who deals with a wide variety of teen problems. They could perhaps give you some tips on what signs/behaviors to look for that would indicate real pathology or potential danger. Just a thought.

christine215's avatar

she doen’t erase anything from her history… believe me, it’s all there! Sometimes I see days where the activity is searching for all things “taylor” then twilight fan page, then facebook, and some days it’s regular kid stuff. We have rule, the rules are that the lap top stays in view and is used only for school purposes until my husband or I get home. she knows the repercussions for breaking the rules and so far, knock wood she lives by the rules (it’d suck to have your phone/computer/ipod/tv taken away AND have to stay inside for a week)
I also have her facebook password and her hotmail password, so she knows I can “peek in” on her whenever I think I need to. (which I do on occasion, she’s 13, and although I’m all about respecting privacy, I think that when you have a teenager, you’re crazy if you’re not peeking in every once in a while to see what’s up)

BarnacleBill's avatar

Perhaps there’s a mother-daughter bonding moment in how you wanted to become Mrs. Ricky Martin, and what you’ve learned about people and relationships since then.

At least she’s not obsessing about the 18 year old Taylor look-alike down the street. That’s worse, when they have a crush on an older real live person, that you have to do the parental tiger thing with.

Buttonstc's avatar

@christine

I like your parenting style. I agree that with teenagers especially, your peeking can head off dangerous kinds of trouble.

There was a recent thread about a young child who got “inspired” to imitate something that he thought looked cool on a YouTube video and accidentally ended up burning the interior of the truck when the flames got away from him.

Fortunately neither he nor any others were injured. But if I had kids that age, I want to know what is influencing their minds and hopefully catch problems before things become dangerous.

The computer in the public areas of the house is also a really smart choice.

You’ve got a pretty good handle on things and she’s openly communicating with you so I think this is a phase which will pass and she’s thirteen.

If she were 16 or so, I think that would be quite a bit more worrisome.

But by the time this blows over, I’m sure you’ll be glad if you never hear Taylor’s name for the rest of your life.

:D

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