Posted: May 21, 2012 9:00 AM
 
We all remember our very first crush. For a teenager, that burst of intense emotion and attachment quickly takes over your life. As the parent of an infatuated teen, how you react sets the tone for their future dating life. Keep reading for three things you should never say about that first crush.

Whether the object of their affection is a classmate, a friend's older brother or the cute barista in the coffee shop, you are in for a roller coaster of emotions. Author Christina Botto says, "We never forget our first love, and how much it hurt when it ended. We remember, because at that time, our world was so small that our emotions proportionately were a lot more serious. Your teenager is at that point right now -- the smallest thing means the end of the world." Here are three things you shouldn't say to your teen.

It's not just a crush

Don't tell your teen, "It's just a crush -- you'll get over it." Many crushes never develop into actual relationships, but you need to act as if it will. Talk to your teen about dating and sexual activity, if you haven't already had these conversations. Make sure your teen understands your rules about being alone with the opposite sex. Take their feelings seriously and don't minimize their pain if things turn sour.

Don't fan the flames

Telling your teen her crush will never pay any attention to her may be the fastest way to fan the flames of infatuation. Don't push your teen to upgrade their crush to levels where they may go over the top to win his affections. Listen to your teen and ask questions about what they like about this person. This is a good opportunity to talk about what qualities to look for in a relationship, such as kindness and trust.

Listen

The best thing you can do at this point is to keep the lines of communication open. If you say, "Stop talking about it!" to your teenager, you shut that door. If your teen is talking to you about their crush, even though you may be tired of hearing it, this means that they trust you. Continue to foster that trust by listening and possibly sharing a story about a crush from your teen years. It is reasonable for you to set limits on phone calls, texting or time spent stalking his Facebook page. Responsibilities at home and schoolwork still need to be attended to, even when a heart is filled with puppy love.

Remember!^ Your teen will always remember their first crush -- and so will you. By being understanding and supportive, you can help them learn what they are looking for in a relationship and move forward when the infatuation dies down.

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Topics: teen dating

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Anonymous May 21, 2012
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Great article! As mom to a teenage boy, we've had so many open conversations about lots of things, but this is always tricky. This info is really helpful, thank you!