And his birthday is just around the corner and she’s babbling on about whether to buy him a shirt or a CD.“Mom, what do you think that Jason would like better? ” Great, from zero to practically married in 10 seconds flat and the kid is now vacillating between the highs that come from feeling in love and the lows of fearing rejection.If you really like the boyfriend or girlfriend, let the kids know it — take them out to dinner or to the movies with you, praise the way that they treat each other and are respectful of feelings, and also show that you know when to back off and give the couple some privacy and time to themselves. If you have reason to believe that the relationship has gone too far (the kids are experimenting sexually, for instance), you must step in.First, talk with your child alone, and discuss the reasons for refraining from sexual activity (emotionally she may not be ready, it often ruins the relationship or reputation, the possibility of sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy).Let’s take a gander at a few: What’s a parent to do?Well, try to keep a cool head yourself, make sure that the lines of communication with your child remain open, and that you are not judgmental (at least until you see the boyfriend’s rap sheet! Also, try the following with your child: Use the “relationship” as a jumping off spot for communication.
Although tween and teen romance is normal, it’s not without some pretty heavy ups and downs.
Initially your child will probably despise you for this — threatening to run away or to continue to see the boyfriend or girlfriend regardless of what you say.
If you’ve been reasonable and still feel that this is a dangerous or very inappropriate relationship, then you should stand your ground and monitor your child’s actions and whereabouts closely.
PLEASE NOTE: The information in this column should not be construed as providing specific psychological or medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand the lives and health of themselves and their children.
It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician, psychiatrist or psychotherapist.