Crush! Infatuations! Love! Joyful words Right? Run down your memory lanes and recollect your first crush! I am sure you still get Goosebumps! So now your teen has started noticing and taking an interest in the opposite sex, and you are worried about how to deal with it. Many questions might be haunting you as to how to explain to your child: What exactly is a ‘CRUSH’? How long does a crush last for? Is it time for us to hit the panic button? With the effect of Globalization and modernization, children are exposed to various cultures and ethnicity. Things which were forbidden earlier have become casual today. A Crush can have positive impacts or put down a child with negative experiences. Parents need to be cautious to understand situations. Teenage Crush is a common phenomenon. Most of us have experienced these feelings when we were young. Times were different then. We hardly expressed our thoughts and feelings back then.
During my interactions with my clients, I come across such cases where parents are more concerned about the changing behaviour of the child. Raj, a grade 9 student, was suspended from school for two weeks as he was caught talking to a girl in an isolated place. Rashmi, a grade 7 student, maintains a secret diary and parents are over curious to explore it while she doesn’t agree to share with them. Gautam, grade 11 student, finds it difficult to concentrate and expresses anxiousness. Such feelings are common for both boys and girls. There are no separate rules for boys and girls. Several psychotherapy techniques are available that can help parents and children to deal with such situations.
As parents we can help our children to deal with this passing phase:
- Encourage teens to understand the transition from childhood to adolescence. Facilitate a smooth transition for the child. Do encourage discussions and promote transparency in relationships.
- Help them develop a healthy attitude towards themselves. Nurture their self-worth. With a balanced Self-esteem, a child can have a happy and successful life in all aspects, be it school life, relationships, academics, Family, profession, etc.
- Their physical, mental, emotional and emerging energies that needs to be channelized into productive channels of healthy and creative activities. Indulge the child in exciting activities and help him invest his time in his area of interests.
- Teach them the value and security of moving in mixed groups, rather than isolating themselves with one particular boy or girl. Explain them the consequences of not being in a group.
- Let them learn and explore their levels of wavelength with different people. Friendships are based on wavelengths and so are other relations in life. It’s the first intuition that we get about another person.
- Help them to stay focused on their Goals. Academics if set right now, then whole life is set. Help the child set his goals. Goals in different areas like professional goals, personal growth goals, health and fitness goals, relationship goals, leisure goals, etc can be defined. Along with your child list down five goals in each category. Help him build strategies to achieve these and stay focused on them. As a parent ensure that he is professionally trained in the area of interest.
- Stand back and give them all the support they need. That’s the need of the hour. Family values, bonding, togetherness become strong during such situations. Your support to deal the situation plays the vital role.
- Keep it light, do not overreact and get melodramatic. Help the child deal with the situation rather than making it a big issue and making it into a big blunder. Your reactions are very important for the child.
- Talk therapy helps a lot. Let a free flow of discussions. Give ample space for communications. A small gap in communication can lead to other complications and strain relationships.
- Let them be aware of the laws of the land. Inform them the criminal charges that can prevail. The laws are harsh for boys and difficult for girls. Several promising careers are at stake due to indulging in activities like stalking, eve teasing, etc. Make sure that your child is aware of such crimes and the serious implications of the same.
Consider professional help. If you find a child is having is dealing with infatuations, or in a relationship at a very young age he/she may benefit from talking with a professional. Don’t hesitate to meet an expert as any issue, if not dealt in time may lead to several other complications in life.
Together with your child enjoy this beautiful phase of life and cherish them for life.
Medha Kedar Tonapi,
Health in your Mind
Life Coach, Parent Coach.
Picture credits: can stack photo, aquatech, parentmap