It does not matter how you feel about your child and romance you are probably not going to be ready for them to have a boyfriend or girlfriend. That time will be here before you know it and as the parent you have the privilege of setting the tone and guiding your young person through this exciting time in their young life. It just recently happened to us; our 15 year old daughter had her first boyfriend. As much as you know the time is coming, it takes your breath away when it does happen.
Some tips may help you and your child navigate this milestone and draw even closer in your relationship.
1. You first need to admit that this day will come and prepare for it, long before it gets here. Before your young person jumps into the romance pool, you will have had the chance to set the platform for their romantic relationships. Help them make friends of sexes, modeling the standards of your family and labeling the good qualities in the friends they bring home. If your family is socially responsible, values faith and education then help your kids appreciate those qualities in themselves. Liking themselves and knowing where they stand, before they fall into a romance gives them a good framework for healthy relationships.
2. When your child comes home with the spark of romance in their eyes, talking about the person she “likes” or “loves” be positive. This is not the time to ridicule your child, and tell them they are too young or make fun of the object of their affection. Instead, celebrate with your young person that they can know such a wonderful person and share such exciting feelings. This will keep you in the loop, and you will continue to have open lines of communication. If your ten year old tells you she is “going out” with the boy down the block, do not just jump in and declare “You are not going anywhere!” but instead get a feel for what this means to her. It might mean sitting on the bus together.READ More on Parenting and Surviving the First Boyfriend/Girlfriend