Kids from 6 years’ experience a crush on the opposite sex, this is normal and should not be blown out of proportion or made bigger than it is. Often times a child that has a good relationship with their Parent will be the first to bring up the topic and it is important not to express shock or surprise, if possible, maintain an emotionless face while discussing the subject matter (you can always laugh about it later with your partner.)
Crush is a normal human feeling, managing the feeling should be the focus of every mother or parent, I must however say that it is at this junction that you have the opportunity to build trust with your child.
Their ability to confide in you when they face this strange feeling depends on the trust, they have in you and the relationship that you have established with them. The following steps are useful ways of preparing the child and helping them handle the crush.
A discussion should be held with the child; explaining the following points
- it is ok and natural to feel something for the opposite sex- crushing is normal and everyone undergoes the feeling from time to time, even adults.
2. learn to draw the line- while the child may like someone from the opposite sex, you must inform them that touching or kissing is out of bounds.
3. You are in school for your studies- Explain to the child that they are in school to study and as such the feeling should not interfere with the main objective of the school.
4. Remember he may stop liking you-Children are unaware of heartbreak and it will do us well to include it in the discussion. You must explain the possibility of the girl or boy not liking them or the chances that he may stop liking them again in future. If the kids are prepared for this then the impact will be reduced when and if it happens.
While some topics may seem embracing to the child or parent, it is important that we as parents get over the embarrassment and discuss this issue with our children. If they don`t get the information from us, they will get it from somewhere else and this exposes them to incorrect information.
Opinion piece by Ejemai Olayemi
image from BooksbyEMO