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Developing feeling for opposite sex in teenager. How to counsel?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
This is related to my 14 year old daughter.I happened to see a couple of messages on her mobiel which is quite disturbing .She had written to her classmate that a guy always sits next to her in the bus ,and whenever there is a turn he happens to lean over her and she seems to be loving it ,she felt a bit wierd but still liked it itseems .she had also written to her frnd that she is drmng of him and plannign to marry him .
I am not aware on how to counsell her ,she is basically a very shy and quite girl.
Posted Tue, 1 May 2012 in Growth and Development in Children
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 2 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

It is very common at this age for girls to develop feelings for the opposite sex due to the hormonal surge of puberty and the various physical and psychological changes it brings about in their body.

1. First of all accept the fact as a parent that your daughter is undergoing something very common and normal at this age. Do not reprimand or fight or scold her under any circumstances.

2. Keep your communication lines open; even though she is shy she may be persuaded by her mother or elder sister/cousin to confide in them. Encourage your child to be open and clear on all issues however trivial they may seem in the face of the current problem. By keeping the communication lines open you can win over your child's trust. Knowing that you are a friend and are always there for your child, no matter what, is very important. It will make her see you as a supporter and well-wisher and not an opponent.

3. Arm her to take self decisions.

Talk to her as young adult and not as a child. Imbibe her with the knowledge to differentiate between reality and illusion. There is absolutely nothing wrong in falling in love; provided decisions are taken with an open mind and clear head. Teach her the difference between infatuation and true love.

4 If she rebels or still insists on going ahead with the affair, tell her to be patient and wait till they are adults. Tell her the differences in lifestyle, socioeconomic class and financial and social problems that can arise in future. Make it a deal. Ask her to wait till they become adults and secure their future.

5. Do make her cautious about physical intimacy at teenage and the disastrous physical and emotional effects it can have on her. If feasible talk to the boy’s parents and alert them too but without your children knowing about such conversation lest they feel embarrassed and withdrawn.

All said and done, it is possible that you may not be able to save her from all the pitfalls of infatuation, especially the emotional baggage, but at least you have passed a word of caution and you can guide her step by step if she confides in you.

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