Recently, a mum wrote into theAsianparent worried because her preschool daughter came home from school saying that she and her boyfriend were planning to get married! We can just imagine the shock of hearing this kind of news from your innocent five-year-old daughter!
If you have heard your preschooler say the same thing, don’t worry! Many mums have expressed the worry that if their child is boy- or girl-crazy now, that they will be even worse as a teenager. But don’t worry, these crushes are perfectly normal!
Here are five things you can do to handles preschool crushes and help your little one with their young love (and hopefully) avoid heartbreak.
The fact is, this kind of behaviour is perfectly normal for young kids for a few reasons. One is that many kids are having their first exposure to other children. Another is that little boys and girls like to mimic others because it makes them feel grown up.
Remember, mimicry is one of the many ways that your little one is learning to process the world around her! This behaviour can be influenced by factors at home, or even TV shows they are watching!
Sometimes it could even just be a matter of liking the attention (who doesn’t??)! Just like adults, little kids like to feel special, so if someone is paying them particularly more attention than before, it makes sense that this would inspire new feelings.
Don’t ignore them
The last thing you want is for your little one to feel ignored when they share this information with you. It’s easy for busy mums and dads to write off their pre-schooler’s feelings, but it is important to remember that it is a big deal for them.
By making them feel listened to and like their feelings are real and important, they are more likely to tell you about these feelings in the future.
If your little one is happy to talk to you about their crushes, it also makes it easier for you, mum, to keep an eye on the situation and see if you have to step in.
Find out if the crush is mutual
There are a few instances where either the parents or teachers will need to step in and get involved with schoolyard crushes.
One thing that parents need to figure out is whether the feeling is mutual towards both parties. It’s important for kids to learn from a young age about respecting their peers and not making them feel uncomfortable. Additionally, you want to empower your kids to say no. If one of their schoolmates is making them feel uncomfortable, they need to be able to speak up for themselves and say something!
Another situation where parents may need to step in is if the physical affection between two kids is too much. Again because kids mimic so much of what they see around them, they may quickly go from holding hands to kissing on the lips which may make other kids feel uncomfortable.
Help them deal with it ending
Chances are your preschooler and their crush won’t be together for the next two decades or more so you will have to help them deal with the relationship ending. Most of these relationships are short-lived but it doesn’t change the fact that your son or daughter will feel hurt when their little friend is rejecting them.
You can use this as an opportunity to boost your little one’s ego and tell him about how great he is and how many friends he has.
How old was your little one when they told you about their first crush?
Read more: An open letter from a preschool teacher to parents