How do I avoid teenage love

The first love, the first lovesickness: 10 tips for parents

Loss of appetite, lack of concentration, whispering long-term conversations with the cell phone and no longer looking for mom and dad. These are usually unmistakable signs that the pubescent offspring are in love over and over again. When children experience their first relationship, it is an exciting new time not only for them but also for their parents. Because mothers and fathers have to learn that their offspring is now taking a further step towards the adult world and for the first time concentrating intensely on another person outside the family - a situation that requires a lot of sensitivity and tolerance. The same applies, of course, to the lovesickness that usually follows the first relationship: We have put together ten important tips for parents.

More about lovesickness

"We're together now." If the child is a little insecure but proudly announces that they have a boyfriend or girlfriend, it is a bit of a shock for many parents. Parents should be happy about so much openness and the need to communicate, because it is not a matter of course that teenagers talk so confidently about their emotional sensitivities. Too often they are afraid that with their "confession" they will encounter incomprehension and rejection.

"Innocent" first love

Such concerns on the part of young people are often justified. Because the "old people" with legal guardianship often make the mistake that certain films relating to sexuality run in their minds' eye and that they therefore react fearfully and insecurely to their child's first love. But parents shouldn't be too worried about this. Inexperienced young people between the ages of 13 and 16 usually have a slightly different definition of "relationship". A little snogging, holding hands or going to the cinema is enough for most of them when they make their first tentative attempts to deal with the new hormonal surges. The 15-year-old student Jette talks about her first inspiring experience in the chat: "The next day after school I went to see him, and that's when we kissed for the first time. It was so exciting, it really tingled my stomach. He then asked me if I thought we were together now. I said: Yes, I think so. "

Jealousy and detachment

It is not uncommon for parents to be jealous of their offspring's first relationship, because being seriously in love is much more than, for example, crushing a pop star. For the first time they are now experiencing that they are no longer the first "address" for feelings, but can also comfort, calm, cheer up and encourage the child's boyfriend or girlfriend. This can also cause a good deal of sadness, because the first love is an important step in the child's cordial detachment, marks an upcoming generation change and shows that the young people are now also going their own emotional ways, becoming more and more detached from the family bond.

When confronted with the first partner of the offspring, fathers and mothers react very differently. The father in particular often has difficulties with the intense intimacy between the two lovers, says the Tübingen graduate psychologist and family therapist Margarethe Schindler and reports to from her practice: "Fathers are often afraid of losing their daughter. They tend to be jealous. In any case, her view of her boyfriend, the young competitor, is critical. On the other hand, if the son has his first girlfriend, fathers often observe this with a certain pride and approach the girl benevolently. " In the case of mothers, on the other hand, it depends on what experiences they have had in their youth, according to the therapist. They were happy with their daughters or sons when they looked back positively and were all the more fearful and regulative when they had bad memories of their first love.

Maintain trust and communication

But how can parents deal with it appropriately and manage the educational balancing act between tolerance and gentle control without their own jealousy when their underage children are on "cloud nine"? The following tips help to exert influence in a sensitive way, to maintain closeness to the child and to avoid conflicts as much as possible:

  • Parents should first react positively and be happy when their child tells them about their relationship. Because it is not natural for young people to talk uninhibited and without pain about the topic of love or even sex.

  • That is why the children should never have the feeling of being laughed at when they make their "revelation" and get the impression that their first partnership is not being taken seriously by the parents. Sentences like "oh, how cute" or "that's cute" are guaranteed not to deepen trust.

  • Although sex is usually not an option when it comes to first love, parents should definitely talk to their child about contraception and, if necessary, go to a specialist to clarify appropriate measures, especially for girls. However, one should also communicate that, with all due caution, sex is also something very beautiful and fun. Such an open dialogue "at eye level" shows that the child is being taken seriously and that it can turn to its parents on all issues.

  • Parents should never, even if they find the new "family member" less sympathetic, demonstratively show their feelings in this regard or even try to break up the relationship. This would put a considerable strain on trust and the offspring would probably be outside their own four walls as often as possible meet with his love, but guaranteed not break up with his boyfriend or girlfriend because of parental sensitivities.

  • Parents should always give the child the feeling that they have an "open house" and that the partner is welcome. So the "great love" does not remain a mysterious stranger and parents know how their child interacts. However, one should avoid being too close and not immediately view every crush as a future son or daughter-in-law. This is usually a deterrent and the young people could perceive the adoption and integration into the family as a disruption of their longed-for togetherness and intimacy.

  • Parental intervention in the love affair may only be necessary if the child is under 14 and the boyfriend or girlfriend is over 14 years old. In such cases, sexual acts are a criminal offense, as the legal status of a child exists up to the age of 14. The situation is also worrying if there is a large age difference, for example if the daughter has a significantly older boyfriend. Parents should try to carefully find out whether the alleged friend is just trying to exploit the naivete of the adolescents in any way.

Lovesickness: The heartache is bound to come

Regardless of how consistently and prudently parents follow such advice, early teen love affairs often only have a short half-life and break up after a few weeks. Then the first big lovesickness threatens and puts the "heart sick" adolescents in deep despair. A whole world collapses with the separation, because the children experience the powerless feeling of being rejected by a loved one for the first time. This situation is not easy for parents either. They suffer with us and often do not know how to help their offspring out of the emotional chaos. But with certain behaviors, mothers and fathers can support their children to cope with acute pain and get through the difficult times. Here are the ten most important tipsthat can certainly be helpful several times, because the first lovesickness will probably not be the last.