New Parenting Challenge: Your adolescent’s first crush
Your adolescent son or daughter will likely have a first crush as they mature through puberty. They are going to be incredibly insecure as they venture into the scary world of a love interest. So it’s important you walk gently through this experience with them.
They are not the only one who will feel insecure. All kinds of negative thoughts will likely flood your mind and drive you to make unwise choices in your response to this new challenge.
To help you navigate these new waters, here are three strategies for interacting with your adolescent son or daughter.
- NEVER make fun of this new special relationship. This is so tempting because teasing your child is a way to release stress for you. But this is a bad idea because they are already feeling so much insecurity. Your teasing will only make them think you find the relationship to be a joke.
- In brief interactions (less than 10 minutes), ask simple questions about the person of interest. Try to make this an adult conversation and not a parent/child conversation. Don’t interrogate them. Make it a simple interaction that shows you care and are sincerely interested.
- Respect your adolescent’s feelings. Respect is key here. They are not children anymore. Although it is highly unlikely this special person will become their spouse, take seriously the way your son or daughter feels about the relationship. Work together to set boundaries that both of you can accept.
Your relationship with your adolescent is going to go through a transition as they find special friends that steal their heart. This is normal and all part of growing up. This doesn’t mean they will love you less – there’s plenty of heart to go around.