The “first crush” talk is coming if you haven’t been there yet tired mamas. I don’t mean the early school age “girlfriend” or “boyfriend”. Those are cute talks to have while your child explores liking someone.
This is the talk where the googly eyes and self-conscious behavior has begun. If you’re there and need some help or want some tips to hold onto in the future, read-on!
The “First Crush” Talk: Keep Your Cool
You are going to fall into one of two camps here. You are either going to start to get giddy like they are or your brain is going to freak out about things that might go wrong here.
Whatever group you fall into, take a deep breath. Remember that you are the parent. It’s important to remain calm and objective. Middle of the road is where you want to be mama.
The “First Crush” Talk: Find Out More, Slowly
They are likely going to be rattling off details about what makes them the coolest person in the world. This conversation is going to be made up of how cute and nice they are. There’s going to be something thrown in there about how they feel when they are around them.
Listen to what they have to say. Then start with your questions about them that get them to start thinking a little deeper. Try out some of these every once in a while during conversation:
- What makes them different from other boys/girls in your class/school?
- Besides being nice/cute, what do you like about him/her?
- What activities are they involved in at school?
- Do you know what they like to do outside of school?
- Do you have time at school where you get to talk to him/her?
- Are you talking with them outside of school like texting or through social media?
- What do you like to talk about together?
The “First Crush” Talk: Keep Their Confidence Up
Self-doubt about their worth starts to become an issue as their interest in someone increases. They doubt themselves in how they look and what they say like crazy. This is your opportunity to start boosting them up and making sure they know their self-worth outside of this crush.
When they start to make statements like, “I don’t know why they would even like me,” you can respond by asking why they feel that way. What they say back will help you know what they’re insecure about. Take that insecurity and start pointing out things to them that counteract that insecurity.
Their confidence is so important outside of a crush that will come and go. You’re dealing with ages where kiddos create habits for eating disorders and drug use which can start because of a downward spiral of insecurities. Be their champion and build them up mama!
The “First Crush” Talk: Don’t Tease Them
You might think it’s fun to give them a little grief about who their crush is and jokingly threaten to get out of the car at school to introduce yourself or embarrass them in some other way. I’m telling you to resist the urge!
You know who their crush is. They are sharing information about their life with you. This will not always be the case and you need to nurture that relationship to keep it going as long as possible.
The “First Crush” Talk: Keep Talking
Don’t let the first discussion be the last. Start another in a week and ask how they are feeling about their crush. You want to keep communication open so that you can be the one to help with next steps.
You should also lay ground rules out for what is acceptable behavior for communication between your child and their crush.
- Is it okay if they text?
- Can they call each other on the phone?
- What about FaceTime?
- How about Snap Chat?
- Facebook messenger?
- Are their times of the day that are acceptable and times that are out of the question?
You’ll also need to decide what you will monitor as far as their communication and what is allowed to be private, if anything. If you want to look further into setting up a technology agreement as part of this, checkout Screens and a Technology Contract for more good ideas along with monitoring software that I highly recommend.