"Kids want someone to hear them out and help them make sense of what they're experiencing—not to tell them it'll be over by tomorrow." For many adults who grew up with heat doodles and do-you-like-me-check-yes-or-no notes in middle school, watching their kids hook up and break up via Facebook, Twitter and text feels not only alien but scary, because it's often unsupervised.
"So you have parents thinking their daughter has never dated while according to her, she's on her third boyfriend," she says. '" Try the same tactic with online activity: Find out whom she chats with and how that person makes her feel. But the point is to get regular conversations going.) As soon as the topic of a possible boyfriend or girlfriend arises, many parents wonder what to discuss."It seems silly to parents but is very real to kids." To bridge the gap, Saul suggests listening to your kids' conversations when they're on the phone, or when there's a group of them in the car. "Try saying, 'I heard you and your friends talking about crushes. While it's normal to want to protect your kids, experts suggest slowing down before charging into the condom lecture."And they should be aware of the consequences," says Harding, "if they don't follow the established family rules." First, let your kids know you'll be checking their social media pages and browser history from time to time.It's true that much of tween romance seems to unfold over chat, says Jessica Gottlieb of Los Angeles, whose 14-year-old daughter appears to have been bitten by the love bug overnight."Between the ages of 10 and 13, kids start having crushes and thinking about sexuality and romance, however they envision it," says Marilyn Benoit, M.
D., a child and adolescent psychiatrist in Villanova, Pennsylvania.How did I get from there to dropping off my own daughter at the doorstep of romance?And was there a way to make those girl-meets-boy dramas any less heart crushing?This reassures your child that it's okay to be interested in getting to know someone better.Spelling out the parameters in advance also lessens the possibility of conflict later on.One reason for the disconnect is that parents think of dates as actual physical events—going to the movies, for example, or a dance. They socialize online in a way that is invisible to adults, says Jenna Saul, M.