Mid­dle School

Parents Canada - - Relating -

WHAT IS LOVE: As kids be­gin to go through pu­berty, sex­ual feel­ings may start to emerge, lead­ing to the be­gin­ning of an ex­plo­ration of sex­ual at­trac­tion and their own sex­u­al­ity. As well, kids at this age de­velop a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of what love means in our western cul­ture. “While re­la­tion­ships may still be about sta­tus at this age, they may start to have feel­ings for some­one who is sup­port­ive, or whom they share a hobby, in­ter­est or emo­tional con­nec­tion,” says Dr. Bax.

THE COM­MON CON­CERN: Un­re­quited love, and how to sup­port your heart­bro­ken child af­ter a breakup, or when their af­fec­tions are not re­turned.

THE LOVE LES­SON: Ac­cord­ing to Dr. Bax, breakups are a huge chal­lenge at this age, and par­ents need to be non­judg­men­tal and ac­knowl­edge that this is a loss for them. Lis­ten and re­spect their feel­ings, while at the same time help­ing them to look for­ward. “For ado­les­cents, the mo­ment is ev­ery­thing and their emo­tions are so strong. It’s im­por­tant to help put the re­la­tion­ship into con­text for them.” En­cour­age them to go out, to spend time with other friends (it’s im­por­tant to make sure they are not iso­lated), and main­tain school­work and hob­bies.

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