High school crushes are among the most exciting part of the whole school experience. Whether your crush reciprocates your feelings or not, it does not matter. You may get hurt, but it’s the thrill that comes with it that often matters in the end.
However, there are some who were not able to get over the heartache brought by having a crush, especially those kids that were not emotionally prepared to experience rejection. It is of importance that as parents we prepare our kids early on with the idea of crush and love, and how to take care of themselves by valuing and respecting their body.
Your Kid Is No Longer A Baby
Yes, your cute little one is no longer there to hang out with you or to annoy you. That kid that used to just play around the living room has grown up and is starting to have a life of her own, exploring and discovering the wonderful world of teenage life. You can never stop that as life is taking its natural course, just like what it did when you first had your own crush not too long ago.
You may say it was very different back then, but we are not living in the past. We are here now and this is their time, their culture, and their style. There is not much we can do but guide our kids through to enjoy this part of their lives.
“Particularly during the middle school years, teenage crushes can be of the attraction (romantic) kind and of the admiration (identity) kind. In both cases growth is advanced by this influential experience, most often for the good, but sometimes not,” said Carl E. Pickhardt, PhD.
Differences Between Boys And A Girls
Although both are in their teenage years, they react differently to their feelings. Girls tend to be more vocal about it. They tell it to their friends and sometimes to their parents, and they just could not stop talking about their crush. And their feelings are more intense, but are of much shorter duration, especially when their crush does not reciprocate the affection.
Boys just keep the feelings to themselves and will talk about it when there is a definite result, like an eventual physical relationship.
Do Not Leave Them Alone
You know your child, and you know when your child is about to act on her feelings. It may be cute and sounds exciting, but be aware that children who began dating exclusively early in their teenage years have the tendency to participate in sexual activity. Talk openly to your kid about sex and about how she can protect herself. It is a beautiful and healthy thing to have crushes, but sex is a different issue. Encourage your child to be involved in social gatherings and even mixed-gender activities at your home or other children’s homes. Be in constant communication with other parents so you may monitor your children’s activities.
“If someone has a crush on your child and your child is not especially interested, your child may not know what to do. It’s helpful for your child to develop empathy early,” said John T. Chirban, PhD, ThD.
Be involved not only in your child’s life and the crush, but also every activity, friend, church, and school, so you will be updated on what is happening in your child’s life.
Communicate With Your Kid
If you happen to discover your child’s secret through social media, love letters, etc., do not readily get mad. Take it as an opportunity to have a meaningful conversation with your child.
Show interest in your child’s life and if she asks for advice, that is the time you can remind her nicely that she can have a crush and it’s normal, but she has to be responsible by knowing her limitations. You can also tell her your very own experience when you had your crush back then.
Keep the communication line open, meaning you don’t have to talk all the time but instead most of the time it is you who is going to be the active listener.
What your teenager is going through is fate’s cruelest twist, but do not panic because it is a part of growing up. Kids of today are a lot more intelligent. Guiding them and explaining to them that it is all part of a hormonal surge brought by puberty is a thing they can understand.
“A parent or mentor has an opportunity to convey lessons about love, whether the object of a child’s infatuation is a pop star or a classmate,” said Mary C. Lamia, PhD.
Crushes and teen love are a part of their lives which if they can handle well can be the sweetest memory they will treasure all their lives because the high school love life is the most colorful, exciting, rebellious, complicated, hilarious, brain-draining, trying, and most inspiring part of school life.