It comes unexpectedly and may not last long, but almost certainly will be remembered for life. The first love of a child causes fear and respect to almost all parents, but the most important thing is not that it occurs early, but rather be prepared in advance for this moment and have a sufficient level of communication with the adolescent to address this new situation.
According to a study carried out by the Spanish League of Education, 24% of young people claim to have had their first partner when they were only 12 years old. From our adult gaze it may seem very early and prejudge this relationship as something not very serious or as a whim but from the perspective of our children it will represent a fundamental moment in their existence in which you will learn essential lessons that will shape your future: both from a personal and self-esteem point of view and in the way you interact with others and create bonds.
What does a child need from their parents at that time? What should we do and what should we tell him? Experts recommend keeping these points in mind:
– Love is respect. The first relationship of a teenager or preteen can be presented as an ideal time to address with him that love should be a matter of mutual respect, an act of freedom and that in a couple you do not have to do anything that you do not want. You should also understand that once you are in a relationship, you must take responsibility in a mature way for the consequences that each of your decisions will have.
– Communication. Of course, the subject of sex is something that should have been discussed previously and on more than one occasion. Therefore, it is not advisable to wait for a son to start his first relationship to tackle everything at once. However, this may be an excellent time to talk about issues such as: what does our son understand by relationship, what he expects from his partner, what behaviors he sees as appropriate or not … This is the only way to prove that he will know how to get away from a toxic relationship. Let us also provide you with all the tools and information so that, when the time comes, you have safe sex.
– Everything with its rules. The young man must understand that the arrival of love in your life does not mean neglecting your obligations: You must continue to meet your schedules, with your school goals, with household chores and, of course, you must agree on the rules of behavior when you are with your partner at home.
– Don’t underestimate your feelings and emotions. Even if it seems to us that she is still too young to fully experience falling in love or that this relationship is doomed to failure We must not underestimate your enthusiasm for your first love or the feeling of unease and sadness that will invade you if it ends. All young people live this stage with great intensity and even more things related to love.
– Make no judgments. Be very careful with the negative judgments or comments that we make in front of our son about his partner. Subtlety works much better or asking them what they think about certain behaviors, situations or gestures of their boyfriend or girlfriend that we have not found correct.
– Do not control or prohibit the relationship. Whether the relationship our son has started seems better or worse to us, it is completely counterproductive to prohibit this courtship. This will only generate negative feelings, resentment towards the parents and will bring them closer to that person, distancing them, in turn, from the parents.
– Normalize the relationship. As we would do with our son’s friends, it is recommended to meet his partner, let him come home to discover personally what he is like and integrate that relationship into the day-to-day life of the family as normal.