The 10-year-old in the movie Love, Actually describes being in love as “total agony,” and he’s not wrong, especially when it comes to the First Crush. A first crush is aptly named for the crushing effect it often has on hearts and self esteem. Here are some ideas to help our kiddos with this rite of passage.
Don’t embarrass them! Any teasing or cajoling of information, even when seemingly light-hearted, can cause already confusing adolescent feelings to feel even darker.
Give your kids some space. You may end up as the target of some misdirected anger. Acknowledge that you notice a sadness and ask what’s up, gently.
Offer yourself as a neutral ear. Knowing they have a safe touchstone in a parent can provide enormous comfort, when kids are ready to share. The key here is listen without judgement. Bite your tongue until they ask for advice.
Tell your story. When we empathize with someone, we align with them. Tell the truth. Be brave.
Give hope. Time truly does heal. It will get better. Remind your kids that being emotionally vulnerable takes strength and to not give up on love even when it’s “total agony.”
“ A first crush is aptly named for the crushing effect it often has on hearts and self esteem.”