Relationships are good for teenagers

Main content

The first love - an intense experience

Not everyone experiences their first love the same way. But the first fall in love, the first kiss or the first "I love you" means a unique and intense experience for every person, which characterizes the young person and which he will remember throughout his life.

Many parents are a little afraid of the moment when their offspring falls in love for the first time. The growing child plunges into a previously unknown world of emotions. A lot has changed for you as a parent as well. The first love in your child's life shows you more clearly than before that your child is now increasingly going its own way. While on the one hand you have to let go, on the other hand your child needs your company.

At what age is it normal to really fall in love for the first time?

Even at primary school age, children can develop such a strong affection for a boyfriend or girlfriend that many parents speak of being in love for the first time. However, the desire for sexuality does not yet play a role. This infatuation with smaller children seeks above all the closeness of the other one, one feels comfortable with one another and shares the same interests.

The real emotional chaos usually only begins with puberty, when the hormonal changes in the body set in and the opposite sex becomes increasingly interesting. With adolescents, a first great love can initially only be a romantic adoration, for example with an unreachable pop star, actress, actor or teacher. At some point, the first attempts at a love “relationship” will follow - with one child earlier, with another only towards the end of puberty.

There is no such thing as the “right” point in time when a young person has his or her first boyfriend or girlfriend. Rather, it depends on many different factors. Physical development as well as interests in leisure time have an influence on this. If a boy and a girl, two girls or two boys then “go together”, this does not automatically mean that they already have sexual contact with each other. The first love usually has a lot to do with romance.

Youth-friendly information on the subject of contraception is offered by loveline, the education portal of the Federal Center for Health Education.

How do I know if my child is seriously in love?

One day the time will come: Your child will rave about their new classmate, for example. Many parents notice immediately when their own child is in love. Some teenagers tell their parents about their feelings. Often, however, even children who have an otherwise open relationship with their parents do not necessarily communicate that they are in love. As a parent, that shouldn't worry you. Your child also has a right to privacy.

However, most parents do not miss their first love, because there are numerous signs: When suddenly everything that has played an important role in your child's life seems to become unimportant and friends, hobbies and school take a back seat , this can be an indication that your child has fallen in love. If your daughter suddenly uses perfume and make-up, or your son shaves, if he is only hanging on his smartphone and sending messages or making calls, the pocket money is suddenly no longer enough or your child is only on the road when a text message follows the other person comes or your child just spends their time chatting on the computer, these could be signs that they are in love.

Your child will face many different and intense emotions, all of which are directed towards the boy or girl of their choice. The state of being in love resembles an addiction that must first be satisfied. Everything else takes a back seat at first.

What is the best way to react when my child has their first love affair?

Dealing with the first love of one's own child mostly depends on how the parents remembered the first love themselves. For example, if the mother went well as a young lover, she can be happier with the daughter than a mother who had mostly unpleasant experiences during the first love, because she wants to protect her daughter from similar experiences. Often, out of this fear, regulations are imposed, including bans to meet with the new friend.

Parents who associate their first love with disappointment and heartbreak sometimes also tend to talk derogatory about their chosen one or their child in seventh heaven with comments like “Don't think it will stay that way” or “You you'll see that it doesn't last forever ”, to insecure. Even if you try to be calm about the subject, such remarks can slip out.

Making fun and mocking your child's first love, including exposing others such as “Do you already know that our son is in love?” Will cause your child to feel ashamed and hurt. Therefore, you should definitely refrain from making derogatory comments.

Trustful interaction

Teenagers take their first love very seriously. If your child confides in you, regardless of their age, and you, as parents, do not show any understanding of the intensity of their feelings, which are particularly sensitive in the growing up phase, you can permanently damage your relationship with your child.

Parents can better help their child to cope with this initially unusual situation if they remember themselves. Become aware of how much your own memory of youthful love shapes your behavior today and the fears and worries about this first relationship with the child. Be happy when your child's first love is returned and your child does not have to suffer lovesickness.

Parents as advisors

You can accompany the first positive love experiences so that your child will always remember their first great love with pleasure, even in adulthood. As the person giving advice, you will be taken more seriously by your child when you talk about the past, you can give them tips on how to approach the crush and find serious trust when you tell them about your own first "heartbreak". This can also be a good way to start a conversation if you have the feeling that your child is isolating himself too much with his love affairs or lovesickness.

As a mother and father, however, you are always aware that the growing child will one day seek tenderness and security beyond the family. Your child should therefore be well prepared for their growing interest in the opposite sex or their own sex through your sexual education.

Is it normal for me to be jealous of my child's partner?

When two young people enter into a relationship, it is a clear sign that they are breaking new ground emotionally. They are becoming more and more detached from you as parents. Suddenly a complete stranger appears in your child's life and manages to completely conquer their heart and mind. From the child's point of view, this person is the best, most beautiful, smartest. He or she supposedly knows everything, has an answer for everything and is fundamentally opinion-forming. When you discover that your own child is hopelessly in love, when you see them strolling along somewhere holding hands, you may suddenly sense the upcoming generation change.

Therefore, sometimes parents cannot quite share their child's joy at that moment. Thoughts like: "I don't know this boy or girl at all" or "Why so early?" go through your head spontaneously. It is better not to express such thoughts to the child. It is quite normal for you to look at the young couple with a little sadness. After all, it is now another person and no longer you as a parent who takes the highest priority in matters of relationship with the child.

When your own relationship is stable and fulfilled and you can see the separation of the child from the parental home as an opportunity to see yourself more as a couple again and not just as parents in a permanent position of responsibility, you can give your child the step into the emotional one Facilitate independence.

Parents also have to let go

Feelings of jealousy in parents are quite normal. If you "give" your child to another person, you also give him or her in his or her care. The happiness and unhappiness of one's own child are now in the hands of a mostly inexperienced young person. Tenderness on the part of the parents may no longer be accepted by the child. The more you try to talk your child out of their relationship, the wider the gap between you becomes. However, if you as mother and father allow your feelings to be normal, you and your child will be able to cope well with the new relationship, which ultimately affects the whole family.

What can we do when our child only has love on their mind and neglects everything else?

At first it is difficult for your child to even approach their crush and that can cost all their energies. School, family and other obligations often fall by the wayside. Everything now concentrates on the young person's new love.

Dealing with your child's relationship in a tolerant manner does not mean that you have to accept everything without hesitation. However, you should express your objections in such a way that your growing child does not immediately reject rejection, otherwise you will block your way to further open conversation. Try to ask questions instead of criticizing. You should only go so far that your child senses your genuine interest in their emotional life and does not have to believe that they are being obeyed.

It is helpful to sit down in a quiet minute to establish common rules that make it easier for the parents and the affected child to integrate the new situation into everyday family life and to which the parents and the child must adhere. These can be, for example, the following rules: During the week, the child must be home by 8 p.m. at the latest, the parents must never touch the diary of their teenagers, the girlfriend or boyfriend is not secretly brought along when the parents are absent, but it is via them spoken beforehand, important appointments must be kept, etc.

What should I do if my child's partner doesn't suit me?

Parents always find it difficult to stay out of their child's relationship when they think their partner may be a bad influence. If you have the feeling that your offspring is being led to crazy ideas like skipping school etc. by dealing with their girlfriend or boyfriend, you will get stuck if you try to break the relationship that is not convenient for you. Assault, allegation, and severe punitive action are more likely to increase the conflict. You can only intervene directly if, for example, you discover drug use or other criminal activities, or if other people and structures are clearly affected.

Sometimes parents try to direct the child's interest to another possible partner, be it the nice son of the mother's friend or the daughter of the neighbor. Most of the time, such seemingly harmless diversionary maneuvers are immediately exposed by the offspring as an attempt to prevent the current relationship.

Get to know your partner

While it may be difficult not to intervene if you suspect your child is on the wrong track in a relationship, if you do not want to lose contact with your child completely, you should make reasonable concessions. Instead of blaming yourself, you can show willingness to talk and sympathy wherever your child needs you. Invite your child's partner to your home as often as possible and try to get to know them better. Sometimes, on closer inspection, it turns out that behind a young person who outwardly looks as if his head is full of nonsense, there is actually a very nice girl or a very nice guy. Perhaps you too will discover what fascinates your son or daughter about this person. The better you know your child's partner, the more things to talk about with him and her on this topic.

How can I help my child with lovesickness?

Parents will find helpful information on the subject of: Adolescent sexuality - education and “the first time” in our specialist article.

As intoxicating as a young person's first love is, lovesickness can also be intense and possessive, be it because you have fallen in love with someone who has no idea and the hurdle to revealing your love seems insurmountable or because you have fallen in love with someone who simply does not reciprocate the feelings.

Even young people whose first love affair is beautiful and enriching will sooner or later experience heartbreak. Either of them falls in love with someone else or at some point finds the relationship boring. Even if you part ways by mutual agreement and promise each other to remain friends, there is almost always someone left who feels downright abandoned, if not offended and taken advantage of.

Nothing is fun anymore for your child, they can no longer think about anything else. The self-confidence is scratched. Ironically, in the phase of physical development, when most young people are plagued by self-doubt, especially about their appearance, a heartache can reinforce the children that they are unattractive and boring.

Show understanding and respect

Most mothers and fathers can still remember their own lovesickness very well, but they often forget how much even a very young person can suffer from being abandoned by their partner. Parents also often think that everything will be over after a few days and sometimes even mock their red teardrops in amusement or even comment on the long-awaited end of the relationship with sentences like: "I told you right away that the / who is not serious about you ", or" Other mothers also have beautiful sons / daughters ".

Many young people, however, take their relationships very seriously and often look for a feeling of security in them that their own parental home cannot give them, especially when family members live separately from one another. Therefore, you should not devalue or simply cover up your child's lovesickness. It is best to respect your child's pain and allow crying and anger too. Show your child that you are ready to talk when they need you. It is good for your child if he can talk his heartache off his heart with patient listeners. If you tell him about your own lovesickness and how horrible it made you felt, you will surely get his or her attention, especially if you can tell how you dealt with it then and how the lovesickness went away.

Distraction also helps sometimes. Do something with your child, go to the cinema, go on a trip or something special that you know your child will enjoy.

Security in the family

Or maybe you suffer with your child, hardly know how to comfort them and feel completely helpless. Then remember that this lovesickness is a (further) hurdle on the way to becoming a partner. Always be aware of your role as parents: You are a basis for your child, who is always a place, even after they have fledged, where they are loved unreservedly and without reservation. If your child has the feeling that they are accepted by you for who they are and that they can count on the security of the family, this is certainly the greatest support you can give them during this difficult time.

What if my child's crush changes often?

When parents feel that their child is not yet ready for a committed relationship or for sexual experiences, it is particularly difficult for them to see when the growing child is moving from one love relationship to the next too early or in a seemingly naive way falls. Every time the child is upset. The more ardent the love, the less interest there is in parents and family, in school and other obligations. At the end of a love relationship, the child is often devastated.

The development of a young person also includes the contradicting needs for closeness and change. Even if your daughter or son has a new crush or friend every week, don't be alarmed at first. Young people first have to try out what is good for them. Partnership can only be learned through experiencing breakups.

So if your child enters into love relationships for a while and then breaks them up again, this is not yet a sign that he has fundamental problems with closeness and obligations, but it strengthens his self-confidence and the ability to form relationships. However, if your son or daughter appears to be developing into a heartbreaker or heartbreaker all the time, you should have a conversation with him or her about obligations, responsibilities, and hurt feelings.

Often the love life of the offspring challenges the parents' unconscious confrontation with their own sexual life, which has often become a joyless routine after all these years. The love life of their daughter or son, which is bursting with youth and curiosity, often forces parents to rethink their own relationship. You will be reminded of longings, disappointments and perhaps dormant conflicts. If you give your own relationship new impulses, you can also give your seemingly independent child the support that it still needs now.

What do I have to consider when falling in love over the Internet?

The generation of our children is well acquainted with the diverse possibilities of modern media. People can get to know each other and make friends on the Internet. Why shouldn't they find great love here too?

Here you will find detailed information about chats and social communities.

It is quite normal for young people to express their feelings through messages or on the Internet. Sometimes this works even better in the anonymity of a chat or in the loosely interwoven social community than in real togetherness. Falling in love over the internet seems to be just a logical continuation of the social ties within the new media. Therefore, as a parent, you shouldn't be too surprised if your child virtually falls in love.

However, you should always be careful with acquaintances on the Internet, as there are also people who make use of its anonymity and put together adolescent bogus profiles that could particularly appeal to and seduce your child: There are adults who pretend to be their own age and so on seek contact with adolescents.

So talk to your child about the risks of chats and social communities. Inculcate a healthy distrust of network acquaintances on him. Ask them to be careful about giving out personal information and never to answer detailed questions on intimate matters. At some point your child will want to send photos and receive photos to give the virtual acquaintance a face. It is therefore essential that you practice certain rules of conduct when dealing with social communities and chats.

Should a first meeting with the Internet acquaintance be pending, never let your child go alone. If he or she does not tolerate your presence, find a companion together with the child who is okay with both of you. The meeting point should be a public place, such as a coffee shop. Prepare your child for the fact that, despite being very much in love, the first encounter can turn into a disappointment if the expectations of this virtual acquaintance are not met.

You might also be interested in the following topics:

Further information