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Don’t minimize, trivialize, or make fun of your child’s first relationship.
When you think about, it’s actually the first intimate relationship your child is making with someone outside of the family. Remember that high school romances tend to be self-limiting, but look for warning signs too.
It’s important to acknowledge how your child is feeling without trying to pull them out of sadness.
Be patient and sensitive, and remember that sometimes just listening is the best thing you can do.
The preteen and teen years aren’t easy on you or your child.
As hormones fly, you can expect to deal with your fair share of conflict.
Even if your son is mooning over a certain girl, most 12-year-olds aren’t really ready for the one-on-one interaction of a true relationship.If you want your child to understand your expectations and rules about dating, you need to express them.Don’t let your child learn about dating from their friends or the media.Start talking casually about what constitutes a healthy relationship to build the framework they’ll use when they’re reading to start dating.Catherine Shaffer receives funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).