During teen years every
child starts showing interest in an opposite gender. Your teenager too may soon
have her first crush. How will you deal with it when the time comes? Read on to
find out how to deal with your child when he or she starts showing interest in
Often when parents realize that their child has now started showing interest in the opposite sex, they try to do
all they can to quell such interest. Needless to say, when your child
gets distracted by thoughts of that cute boy in her class, she's not
going to get a whole lot of studying done. This is what often worries parents, who feel that children should focus on their studies at this stage. Love is for later.
However, logical as this may seem, things don't always go according to plan. But how you deal with your child's first crush will largely set the tone for everything else that is to follow.
Did your child reveal her crush to you herself, or did you find out from others, or by overhearing her
conversations with friends? Perhaps you stumbled upon a revealing SMS
or two. Instead of lashing out at her, ask yourself why she did not
come to you with her thoughts. Are you too strict a parent? Did she
know you were going to disapprove?
Understand that your child
will have crushes, whether you like them or not. Such crushes will form
a large part of your child's growing years. Short of taking her out of
school or limiting her access to all members of the opposite sex -
which would be extremely unhealthy by the way - there is little you can
do to prevent this from happening. It is better if you try and be a
friend to your child. This way you are assured of her confidence at least through her teens.
Don't dismiss her comments as nonsense. If she says she is in love,
don't say, "Rubbish, you don't even know the meaning of the word."
Teenagers hurt just as much when they have a crush,
as any adult. Instead, ask her to tell you about him and get her to be
open with you. You could then even give her advice on how she can and
should ensure she gets the respect she deserves by not chasing him, not
giving him 'blank calls' and so on.
Many adults who fall in love, get married and then opt
for a divorce too suddenly realize that perhaps they were never in love
at all. So take your child's words seriously or she may stop coming to
you and prefer talking to friends.
You could also then set limits for dating, which could range to disallowing it completely to allowing it after your child
reaches a certain age. Each family has its own sets of rules in this
regard. Some children meet members of the opposite sex without their parents
knowledge, and they may indulge in activities they later regret. But if
you are an understanding parent, chances are, they will draw the line
where you tell them to, as they know they have your trust and would
rather not abuse it.
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- The Indiaparenting Team