At some point, a first boyfriend or girlfriend will be brought home by your child. The time for the first love and the first relationship is today in most cases much earlier than you might remember from your own youth. Our guide and tips will help you to handle a child’s first relationship.
5 key factors to handle a child’s first relationship
1. The first love is just around the corner
It is not uncommon for teenagers to have their first date at the age of thirteen, bring home their first great love and have their first sexual intercourse at the age of fifteen or sixteen. In general, it is very important to respond appropriately in such situations so as not to hurt the feelings of the youth. If you try to talk to your child as openly as possible about the new situation and also not to exclude sexual intercourse, this can have a very positive effect on mutual trust. It is of great importance that your child is well informed about contraception and everything that concerns a first time and can therefore also take responsibility for his own body with confidence. On the other hand, if you try to ban your child from the relationship, in most cases you will only get the child secretly meeting with his or her friend.
2. First relationship doesn’t mean first sex
It does not have to be the case that sexual acts play a big role with the first boyfriend or the first girlfriend. Especially when the young people are younger, most of the infatuation is based on partnership, hand-holding and the question: “How do you kiss properly?” The lovers enjoy the time together, practice properly and feel very grown up, because especially at a younger age it is often also considered a status symbol to have a friend or girlfriend. Often such a first relationship is over as quickly as it has begun. Nevertheless, it is at the same time a very important experience for the child or the adolescent, which strengthens the self-confidence in dealing with the opposite sex.
3. Be discreet
If the young people are a little older, you should above all exercise discretion and not try to interfere in any relationship matters. Even if you don’t like your child’s boyfriend or girlfriend at first, you should accept your offspring’s decision. This is an important step in the process of eventually leaving the parental home, which is indispensable for the young people. Suddenly, as a parent, you are no longer the most important reference person in your child’s life. This is a situation that many fathers and mothers have to get used to. But once a certain familiarity has developed between the young couple and the rest of the family, this can be a very nice situation.
4. Preventing criminal acts
Info: In general, such relationship matches with an extremely large age difference are rather rare.
Intervention in your child’s relationship may be necessary if the child is under the age of consent and the friend is over, because in such a case sexual acts that go beyond a kiss may be illegal in your state. The situation is also worrying to handle a child’s first relationship when there is a large age difference, for example if your teenage daughter has a much older friend. Here you should talk very carefully with your daughter about the existing situation and try to find out if the supposed friend is perhaps just trying to exploit the naivety of the young people in some way for the first time.
5. When the relationship is over
Take your child’s feelings seriously
This can often be the hardest part to handle a child’s first relationship. When the relationships between the young people break down after a certain period of time, which is usually the case, there is first of all separation pain and love grief. Don’t try to talk to your child with good advice now if they don’t ask for it themselves. Often the young people prefer to discuss their love grief and separation pain with their friends, which is also part of a normal development process. Nevertheless, it is of course important that you are there for your child when necessary and take his problems and feelings seriously with confidence.