Is your teen in love?
Have you started to notice that your teen seems a bit dreamy? You answer the phone at home and a shy young girl asks to speak to your son? Or maybe your daughter lets out squeals of excitement when she’s talking on the phone to her friends? And then she avoids your questions? There’s a good chance your teen might be in love! And now your protective instinct comes out. Who’s he in love with? Isn’t she a bit young? Are they having sex?
What to do?
If your teen isn’t talking, don’t try pulling teeth. First love is one of the most important stages of adolescence. Respect your teen’s privacy. Don’t tease, don’t question too much, and above all, don’t go snooping in their journals or read their emails. Make the most of the situation by having a serious conversation, but keep it general. The important thing is to let them know you’re there to listen and offer advice.
Is she too young?
So at what age does your daughter have the ‘right’ to be in love? Hard to say since a lot depends on the individual’s maturity. The “little friend” from nursery or their “best friend” from grade school are little passing crushes. On the other hand, in adolescence, having a boyfriend or girlfriend often becomes a daily preoccupation. Even if the majority of these relationships don’t survive the school year, they can still become serious relationships. You probably know at least one or two people who are still with their high school sweetheart.
If your teen has these feelings, it probably means he’s ready to have a relationship and it’s time for you to have a conversation about love, and respecting others and themselves. It will help them develop ideas about love and relationships that are based on a good set of values.
A broken heart
It’s the unpleasant side of first love and it risks taking you by surprise: from tears to even thoughts of suicide, this sad stage in a teen’s life can really worry you. Rejection is not easy for anyone but at this age a broken heart can take on enormous proportions. Even if in your eyes it seems insignificant don’t take their pain lightly and give them the time to get over it and let them know you’re there for them. You could give him tips from our article Teens - 6 tips for mending a broken heart
Love and sex
There’s a big difference between young teens who are holding hands and those who are involved in sexual relationships. In this era of hyper-sexualization of teens, some of them try things to prove something and be accepted by their peers, which can sometimes be dangerous and lead to a negative idea about love and relationships. Be aware and ready to act against this type of behaviour. Prepare yourself to talk about the BIG topic. Our article, Talking sex with your teen, will give you several practical tops on this issue.