UA Matters: How to Deal with Your Child’s ‘Puppy Love’
As parents, it is tempting to just tell a young person to get over it when puppy love goes wrong.
Dr. Lee Keyes, executive director of the University of Alabama counseling center, advises parents not to go that route.
“Puppy love often happens in the early teen or pre-teen years when emotions are already intense,” he says. “Because they are inexperienced, teens and pre-teens often can’t discriminate among types of relationships, and everything seems extreme and final, and that includes puppy love,” he adds.
“When it ends, they believe their world is at an end, and we, as parents, should approach this as a real loss,” advises Keyes.
- Keep the lines of communication open. Parents who deal successfully with these issues do a lot of listening.
- Watch for signs, and find ways to give gentle reminders about proper ways for them to handle these new feelings.
- Hug them, assure them they are lovable.
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