Research on romantic feelings in younger children is scant, however, studies have shown that it's normal for children in even the middle school years, around grade six, to develop very strong feelings for the opposite sex. Though we may not consider these feelings as "love" your child does.
Tips for parents on handling the first real love:
- Stay connected Don't dismiss your child's "I'm in love" comments as nonsense. New research confirms that teen feelings are just as strong--and more--as adults.
- Hold the "big talk" again. Don't you think it's better that your child gets this information from you than from his friends or the media?
- Bedrooms off limits. Set a rule that your kid may not entertain in his bedroom.
- Communicate your family's values about sexuality so your child hears your view about intimacy, commitment and love. It doesn't mean that your child is going to necessarily adopt your values, but he needs to hear what you stand for to help guide his own behaviors.
- Stress that promiscuity does not make you popular. Reputations stay long afterward.
More Young Love "Firsts"