Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How To Handle a Child’s First Crush

Like paying taxes, your child’s first crush is one of life’s realities that you have to deal with as a parent.It could happen so suddenly for you that you don’t realize that the years have gone by and the baby you adore so much is just that: no longer a baby.

Here are some ways you can deal with your child’s first crush.


Look for signs: Being giggly about someone of the opposite sex, getting interested in romantic plots of movies, or adding marriage in pretend play can be some clues that your kid is developing a crush.

Gather information: Instead of evading the subject altogether, why not squeeze out every last detail? Start with general questions and take your child’s lead. To make him or her comfortable opening up to you, try not to laugh or chuckle, or dismiss the child’s feelings.

Determine if the crush is mutual: Ask your daughter if she thinks that boy in her class feels the same way about her. If she doesn’t, then explain the importance of respecting the other person’s feelings. If your son says the same, let him know it’s okay and they can remain friends.

Set boundaries: Crushes are usually just crushes: writing cute notes, hanging out at recess together, or even a peck on the cheek. Experts believe these behaviors may have nothing to do with sexuality yet, but you can broach the idea of boundaries, such as telling your child that playing together is cool, but kissing isn’t.

Heal hurt feelings: If your child doesn’t seem to get over early infatuation quickly, discuss it with them, and share your own childhood experience to make the child feel that it’s perfectly normal to have those emotions.

A graduate of Carnegie Mellon in 1995, Joseph Cianciotto has been working in the digital space for more than 20 years. He currently resides in Long Island, New York, with his wife Jen and daughters Hannah and Sophie. Read more about parenting on this blog.

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