Topping their list of questions is, “How do you know when you’re in love with somebody?
” They are also genuinely curious about their parents’ courtship and marriage (“Mom, did you fall in love with Dad at first sight?
”) and, if applicable, divorce (“Dad, how can two people love each other for years and years, then stop being in love? Having an imperfect romantic résumé yourself does not disqualify you from initiating this conversation.
You might say, “I haven’t always made the wisest decisions when it comes to love, but I’ve promised myself that the next time I become involved with someone special, I won’t settle for anything less than a healthy, honest relationship.
Acknowledge your teen’s pain but assure her that she will be happy again.
“I understand how upset you are, and I know you may feel like your sadness is never going to go away.
To reiterate a point made earlier, it wasn’t all that long ago that many couples got married in their teens.
“Parents should never minimize or ridicule a first love,” says Tucson pediatrician Dr. “It is a very important relationship to teenagers, and it’s important for another reason, in that it is their first intimate relationship with someone outside their family.” When “going out” evolves into “going steady,” it is natural to worry that things are getting too serious too soon.
Just look at the words used to describe affection between two young people: “infatuation,” “crush,” “puppy love.” If it feels like love to the two puppies, isn’t it love?
While there may be the occasional romantic twosome among the members, the majority are unattached.
If anything, youngsters in the group spend as much time interacting with their same-sex friends as they do with members of the opposite sex. Ron Eagar, a pediatrician at Denver Health Medical Center, views group dating as a healthy way for adolescents to ease into the dating pool rather than dive in.
Parents need to treat a brokenhearted youngster’s feelings seriously.
“Breakups are one of the major precipitators of suicidal gestures in young people,” says Dr. The vast majority of kids, though, will get over their hurt and be fine.
However, you might not recognize it as dating per se.