How to deal with an adolescent in love?
Most of you who have adolescent kids, might get shocked when you know that your child is in love, as you least expected it. But you should accept the fact that your child is growing.
My strong request to parents is, kindly don’t frighten your child by crying to her/him or to other family members, thinking that s/he has done something very wrong or put the family prestige down. Don’t embarrass your child by sharing about her/his love to your neighbor or relatives and asking them to advice her/him. There are chances for them to talk ill about the child behind your back. Don’t talk irrelevant stuff like ‘I have spent so much on your education & daily expenses, but you have put me down by falling in love’. You might end up making the child feel guilty. Don’t follow them on social media. Don’t mess-up things by fighting with the other child/child’s parents (with whom your child is in love with). Don’t threaten or blackmail the child by saying statements like ‘I will kill myself if you talk to her/his (girlfriend/boyfriend)’.Such strong statements will curb the child emotionally.
It is very necessary for us to help our children grow with self-love & respect. Thereby it is time for us to do some work on ourselves to handle our kids effectively. Let us look into few guidelines to handle them.
As I shared in few of my previous articles it is very important for parents to establish a good rapport with your child. For your child to open up with you about her/his love, s/he needs to have the trust in you. S/he should believe that my parent will not judge nor mock me for expressing my genuine feelings. If your child knows that you accept and respect her/him for what s/he is, they will not conceal their love relationship.
Ensure them that falling in love at this stage is natural & appreciate them, in case they were the one’s who opened up with you, about it. At the same time insist them there are other things too which s/he has to prioritize during adolescence. Children take up their board exams as well as make career choices during this period. Remind your children often that to be successful in life, they need to focus on improving their aptitude in subjects of interest and also mold their overall personality. Provide them with opportunities for their growth. Help them equip themselves with necessary life skills to survive in tomorrow’s job market like communicating assertively, taking up Challenges, decision making, perceiving other’s perspective so on. Provide channel’s to exert their energies by encouraging them to participate in sports & other extra- curricular activities of their interest. Let them make more friends.
Suggest your child to draw boundaries with their girl/boyfriend. Speak openly about the need to keep themselves physically safe. Inculcate moral value system in them.
Set up timing for using mobile phones & online social networks.
Educate your adolescent about love break-up too. Tell your child that any relationship can’t be taken for granted, hard times too arise. In spite of giving our 100% in a relationship it can still break.Empower your adolescent.
Swathi Priya. P