So, your son has a crush — maybe even a “girlfriend.” Somehow we parents never think our children are old enough — for whatever it is they are embarking upon, albeit even the most natural and age-appropriate thing. Like a crush. Child development experts say these crushes can typically evolve in 5th or 6th grade. Yep.
By the way, do you remember your first crush? I remember mine like it was yesterday. Can still feel the flutter of the butterflies in my stomach. I was in the 6th grade.
Funny. Here I am, remembering my first crush. In the 6th grade. Right there in Mr. Miller’s homeroom class. I can see the guy’s (dirty blond, wavy) hair right in front of me now. But . . . here . . . today . . . oh so many years later . . . My son can’t possibly be old enough, mature enough, developed enough, to feel those fluttery butterflies in his little tummy too, can he? There I was in 6th grade, and now here he is in 7th.
Well, maybe he can.
Did you see the “Good Luck Charlie” Disney Channel episode where cool, hip mom Amy overhears 7th grade son Gabe saying that he likes Heather but is too scared to talk to her? What does cool, hip mom Amy do? She invites Heather over. Yep, she invites Heather over — right to their house, right there in the living room . . . just to make it easier for her little baby Gabe.
What cool, hip mom (okay, overly intrusive) Amy doesn’t know is that there are six Heathers in Gabe’s class. She just happened to pick the first (and only) Heather that she found. That’s where the real fun begins, as Gabe enters the living room, grabs his adoring mom by the hand, and asks, “WHY did you invite “Annoying Heather” over to our house?
Awww, mom. We can all relate, can’t we? Just a little bit? She was just trying to help.
Here’s our first reminder as we embark (or maybe I should say, stumble) upon our child’s first crush:
1. Don’t Meddle.
2. Be Interested, But Not Too Interested.
Give him his space. Show a little interest, and watch his cues. Listen to his verbals, and by all means, watch his non-verbals. He’ll open up when he’s ready. He may even ask for advice . . . like . . . what kinds of things do girls like for their birthdays?
Stay cool. Stay calm. Stay collected. And, what the heck, relive those butterflies (way back when) of yours. And remember that your little guy (or girl) just might be old enough to have his or her first crush. You might want to . . . . casually . . . . now . . . . tell him (or her) about yours. And stay tuned . . . keep those (semi-interested) communication lines open. He just might need some advice – real soon – about the kinds of stuff girls like.
And, check out what these kids have to say about crushes.
And if you’re interested in more things that our kids are naturally embarking on (even though we may not quite be ready) . . . check out my book, Bork, who reveals the Real Deal about the Facts of Life — and other good things all boys should know.