Whether it happens in primary, middle or high-school, chances are your kid is going to be in love at some point. By this I mean, obviously, he or she will develop a crush on what of their classmates and will probably struggle over telling them, pouring their heart’s desires and whether or not others will make fun of them. Love hurts, so this will probably cause you to worry.
Here is some advice on how to deal with your kid when she or he has a crush.
Don’t romanticize unrequited love
Unrequited love does not make us happier, more sensitive people. It can disgrace us, especially when others around us keep telling us to “go for it”. You don’t go for it when the person tells you no, particularly if they have to tell you no over and over again.
If your kid has a crush on someone they never even talked to, the chances for romance are low. If they are from different social groups or if the crush in question has a collection of disillusioned suitors, perhaps the best thing to do is just move on.
Don’t encourage your kid to do “grand gestures”
The politics of love in middle and high school are no laughing matter. If these are the first real crushes your kid ever had, they might end up defining how he feels about relationships for a long time. If you encourage your kid to write a song, make a love declaration, write a letter, etc., especially if it is supposed to be in front of the whole school, and if it goes wrong, that can completely shatter your kid’s self-esteem. Remember: there are smartphones everywhere now, so your kid’s humiliation can end up on the internet forever.
Laughing at people crazy in love might be fun, but your kid won’t think so. If you act as if crushes are something to be made fun of, he might be reluctant telling you about it. If that happens, you won’t be able to do any damage control in case he really is suffering. Think twice before joking about the subject, depending on how sensitive your kid is.
Be there for a broken heart
Oh yes, that can happen too. We all know that unrequited love is by far the most painful. Time will heal it, as always, but you need to show your kid some empathy and be there for them. Mention some of your love experiences from childhood so your child realizes that what he or she is going through is perfectly normal.
Don’t panic. Think about this love lesson as a wonderful opportunity to help our kid understand the power of emotion. Early infatuations usually don’t last long – and most kids get over them quickly, so just don’t worry, everything will be ok!