So your young teen daughter has just informed you she has a crush on one of her playmates, a boy about her age and this is her first crush. What are you going to say? Be careful here because there are more things in play than what just meets the eye. You as her father can adversely scare her into thinking that what she is feeling is wrong. This is a situation that you will need to take very seriously because it can lay out her future for the best or for the worst.
First thing is first. You used to be young and in love as well. You had your first crush probably around the same age and all you knew was love. Remember what it felt like, what went through your mind because the same thing could be going through hers, or not. But if it is, then you can tap into this connection and be better prepared as to what you will say. In other words, you will not say something you might regret later. It is safe to think that this is her first crush and probably won’t last long.
It is also safe to think that you need to watch her around the crush a little closer than you have been from now on, all safe thoughts because you are her father and she is your little girl. But do not be overly surprised. She is a teen now, and her body is more attractive than when she was a little girl. She is also in the age bracket where children start becoming curious about the opposite sex and that is perfectly normal. But what are you going to say to her once she spills the beans?
Here are a few things you might want to consider as advice from you to your teen daughter.
1. Remembering all I just said, you should sit her down and tell her that she is still very young and that it is perfectly normal for her to have the feelings she has and that all girls her age go through the same thing. It is important that she understands that her new feelings are normal and that she is not going to be in trouble just because she has a crush on a boy. Some girls, if not most of them, will actually feel they have done something wrong with these new feelings, especially if you are the father that spent all her life telling her to leave those boys alone.
2. This may be a good time if you have not already done so to talk to her about human emotions and sex. Tell her that it is safe to have the feelings but that at her age it is not appropriate to act on them, and then you will need to explain what you mean. Remember her feelings and how you felt when it happened to you as a child while you talk to her. As I said, it will be easy to miss-communicate your feelings at this point.
3. Now for this last piece of advice. You are her father. It is your house and your rules, so this is the time you do not want to be too relaxed on your rules. You want to make sure she understands what you do and do not approve of with this new found crush. Tell her what will and will not get her into trouble and again emphasize that she has done nothing wrong and that you are just making sure nothing wrong takes place.
All in all, raising a teen daughter is a very rewarding experience. Just make sure you understand that you have a legal obligation to be in charge of your children until they are 18 years old and that their actions can affect you, the family and their future. It is up to you as their father to not be too relaxed or too harsh but also up to you to make sure your children are safe and informed teens.