Do you remember your first crush? The happiness, the confused feelings and the beauty of it all? The first time a child experiences anything close to love can be really difficult for the child because of the new emotions he/she discovers. As a parent, it’s important to be understanding, patient and comforting. You might not like it or give it much of a thought but it is a vital part of growing up for your child. Here are a few things you can do to handle your child’s first crush:
Let your child feel comfortable
Dealing with the first crush is a very sensitive time for your child so irrespective of how funny or cute you think this is, don’t make fun of your child’s feelings. Avoid teasing your child about his/her crush because that is only going to tamper with your child’s self esteem if anything.
Be a source of comfort
Kids are usually confused because of all the feelings they experience for the first time. Be a source of comfort and compassion for your child. Let your child know that he/she can discuss his/her feelings with you and deal with some of the confusion.
Ask your child about the things they admire about their crush
A good way to deal with your child’s first crush is to ask him/her the qualities that he/she admires in his/her crush and what made him/her like that particular person. It will make your child feel cared for.
Don’t obsess about it
As a parent, it’s alright to get worried and be scared of this developing into something serious but don’t let your child feel any of your fears. The feeling is the result of your desire to protect your child so don’t freak out or start obsessing about it.
Let your child enjoy the feeling
Since this is the first time your child is experiencing such emotions, let your child enjoy it. Don’t tell him/her that it will all be over or that people change as they grow up. Even though that is the real deal, let your child understand it on his/her own.
Set some limits for your child
Just because you are being open about your child’s first crush doesn’t mean that he/she can take your approval for granted. Set a few ground rules so that he/she doesn’t cross his/her limits. Let him/her know that you are still the parent.
Share your child’s excitement
Be a part of your child’s growing up process. Sound excited and interested when your child shares any stories regarding his/her crush with you. Don’t make a big deal out of it and go crazy to show your level of interest though. A little acceptance is all that your child is looking for.
Don’t ignore the situation
Some of you might still think about how your parents didn’t understand how big your first crush was for you. I for once really wish my parents had acknowledged my first boyfriend as a boyfriend and not as my ‘little guy’ friend. Don’t try to ignore your child’s sentiments or the situation even if you don’t particularly like it.
Don’t ask too many questions
Excitement is one thing but don’t get too inquisitive to show your interest in your child’s life. Let your child share his/her feelings, thoughts and opinions with you. A few questions should do the trick. Your child will know that you are keeping an eye on him/her without being too intrusive.
Handle your urge to jump to conclusions
Don’t willingly jump to conclusions about your child’s crush by listening to what he/she has told you. It’s a child you are dealing with so his/her judgement should matter but not too much. Hold your train of thought till you meet the crush yourself.
Don’t make any hurtful comments
A first crush is usually an on and off sort of a thing because of the confusion involved so don’t respond to a ‘breakup’ with sarcastic comments. This is your child’s time to grow and develop so understand that it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Don’t say anything that will hurt your child or lower his/her confidence level.
Encourage your child to deal with his/her feelings himself/herself
This is probably the first independent decision your child will make/has made so be a source of comfort and advice but don’t try to fight your child’s battle. Encourage your child to deal with the hurt feelings or happiness on his/her own.
Ask your child to maintain a healthy balance
It’s quite natural for children to get confused when dealing with such severe (for their age) emotions. As a result, many kids mess up their grades and their social life so encourage your child to maintain a healthy balance between his/her love interest, school life, grades and duties at home. Such an attitude will also help your child in the future.
Invite the crush over to your house
As a parent, it is important for you to know who your child admires so much. Also, inviting your child’s crush to your house will keep him/her away from public places and you can keep an eye on the two of them.
Comfort your child if it doesn’t work out
Since this is your child’s first tryst with love, it is obvious that things will come to an end after a few days. If your child feels hurt at the end of it, be a source of comfort and say encouraging things. Never say, “ I told you so!”