My daughter’s first “boyfriend”

Note from Chief Mom Ambassador, Parenting | March 7, 2016

Recently, my 9-year-old, Ella, told me she had a secret that she wanted to tell me and made me promise not to tell her dad. Her secret? She had a boyfriend. Panic immediately set in and I wondered how my baby could possibly have a boyfriend already. I was a complete mess inside, but I put on my “cool mom” act and started asking her questions to find out what was really going on.

To my relief, Ella’s so-called “boyfriend” was really just a boy in her class that she thought was super cute, super nice, and so A-MA-ZING. I tried to explain to her that a “crush” and a “boyfriend” are two different things, but she insisted they were the same. I let her win that argument. There’s no harm in that, right? The conversation went on and she eventually asked me about the first time I liked a boy. This question allowed me to share some fun secrets of my own and turned the conversation into a type of bonding, girl-talk session that connected us in a new kind of way.

I am certainly not an expert on the subject, but just in case there are other moms out there getting ready to face the exact same situation, here are a few tips I found helpful:

  1. Whatever you do, don’t overreact or freak out. Try to stay calm and take deep breaths.
  2. Allow your child to do most of the talking and keep your questions to a minimum. Try to ask open-ended questions that encourage conversation rather than short, one-word answers.
  3. Keep the conversation warm and friendly. This will help keep the door open for future conversations.
  4. Earn your child’s trust at an early age during these types of conversations. When they are older, they will feel more comfortable discussing tough matters with you.
  5. Treat your child with respect. They want to feel accepted and understood.

Do you have any tips or advice to add to my list? Leave a comment below!


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