Young Love: It's an awkward time for parents

Handling your kid’s first crush.

Handling your kid’s first crush.
Do you remember your first crush? How you felt a yearning for someone and thought you were totally in love? Well we soon learnt, didn’t we? Now your teen is heading to this stage and you have never being so worried, it is almost easier when they are little ones. Unfortunately though this is just another phase in your child’s journey and because we can’t wrap up our kids in cotton wool it is best to be prepared.
In some cases the object of your youngsters affection will not be a real person but a celebrity, you may notice them putting up tons of posters? This is a sure fire sign that your darling has a crush! Other times it will be someone in their class or someone they don’t know but they walk past them on the way home, and you need to look out for the signs.
The signs that your teen might have a crush are…
  • Spends ages doing their hair and in a girls case suddenly start’s using makeup.
  • Sprays perfume/aftershave around and is now bringing it in their bag and is looking in the mirror more.
  • Seems to be happy and red faced if you ask why but is secretive about the reasons.
If you are picking up on these signs maybe have a quiet word with your kid, of course they will probably be cagey and distant. However you need them to know that you are happy to listen and will not be judgemental. To help steer the conversation well try a few general questions about school and friends and lead up to boyfriends or girlfriends, don’t be too pushy though.
If you are not making any headway and your teen will not entertain the notion of opening up to you maybe investigate further with some parents with teens that know your child. There is always the option that you could check your teen’s phone if you are very worried just to be sure of anything that your teen may be hiding- but this is a blog for another day!
On the other hand there is every chance your teen will want to share the news with you and be open to your opinions on the issue. As parents we need to remember that this can be an extremely confusing time for a young person as the feelings they possess appear from nowhere and nobody wants a child with a broken heart.
While the object of your youth’s affections may be unrequited it is important that you know either way. If the feelings are requited you need to set boundaries for your teen on what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour. Your adolescent needs to understand that spending time together is fine but kissing is a whole new ball game and that you should never do something that one feels uncomfortable with. This is where the dreaded 'sex talk' takes place but it is important to address the issue now rather than later.
Your teen should know that you are happy to give advice but it is a two way street and honesty is vital. Don’t try to fix things (if it all goes wrong) or get mad as more than likely your teenager just needs reassuring that it will all be ok and not to hear “I told you so”. Talk about your own experiences when you were a teenager and try to connect with them and be honest about how upsetting matters of the heart can be.
Overall instil in them that they don’t need a boyfriend or girlfriend to be truly happy and that there is plenty of time in the future for that and for now enjoy spending time with pals and just being yourself.
Best of luck in your teenagers new chapter.
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