She stares with a racing heart as he effortlessly inputs the combination into his lock and opens his locker door, brushing his shaggy hair out of his eyes and placing his textbooks on the shelf. You watch from behind the PTA bake sale table, recognizing immediately that your once-baby girl has done it: developed a crush. While you may wish that you could arrest your daughter’s development, freezing her in an innocent age of giggles and play-dates, saving her from the rigors of crushdom, you can’t. Instead of wishing for the impossible, be a proactive parent and help your daughter deal with this crush, using your influence to help guide her through these first inklings of romance.
Share Your Crush Stories
When your daughter looks at you, she sees her mature and confident parent, not the bumbling and awkward teen you once were. This perception may make your teen less-than-eager to confide in you, as she doesn’t realize that you have been in her shoes. Show her that you can understand the unexplainable affection that pulses through her veins by telling her about your first crush. By opening up in this way, you may induce her to do the same, advises KidsHealth.
Be the Info Source
As your teen tries to decide how to deal with her amorous feelings, she has many sources of information she can consult. From friends who offer advice that may be arguably useful to magazines like “Seventeen” that feature glossy pages filled with stories like, “Get Your Crush in 30 Days!” your teen will have many messages to decipher. While it is natural for your teen to listen to friends or seek suggestions from media, it is important for her to know that you are the best source of information. Express a willingness to talk to her about her crush. When you do talk to her, remain non-judgmental and open to ensure that she sees you as a trusted confidant and continues to share with you.
Bolster Her Self-Worth
Along with the first crush often come feelings of self-doubt. During this time, you may hear your daughter say things like, “He won’t like me because I am ugly.” Don’t allow your teen to dwell on these feelings of inadequacy. If you hear your teen say something negative about herself, correct her perception, providing her with a confidence-boosting compliment. While you won’t be able to erase these negative feelings from her mind, hearing some positive feedback may make them easier for her to handle, says Family Education.
Give Her Some Space
While you want to be there for your daughter, you don’t want to be so ever-present that you become a nuisance. After making it clear that you want to help your daughter as she deals with her feelings, step back a bit and allow her some space. It is fine to ask about her crush occasionally, but this shouldn’t become the subject of every conversation you have with her. If you do allow yourself to become over-involved in her budding romantic life, you run the risk of making her feel smothered, according to HealthGuidance.org.