Happy Valentine's Day! Everything about children and love

Valentijn en verliefdheid bij kinderen

When children are young, they often want to marry their mom or dad. But, there comes a moment when that changes. Then it's no longer mom or dad who has to play the bride or groom, but rather a classmate or friend. How do you, as a parent, deal with this? And more importantly, how does infatuation work in children? We explain everything you need to know about infatuation in children.

How does infatuation work?

Infatuation is an emotional and physical state experienced when someone has deep feelings for another person. Infatuation can take different forms and be experienced in various ways. For example, some people may fall in love at first sight, while others may need time to develop feelings of infatuation. For children, it's not much different. However, the way we as adults understand infatuation is significantly different for children.

Infatuation in children

Infatuation can occur in children at a young age. But, fear not. As explained above, this is different from adults. Infatuation in children is more likely to be experienced as a strong feeling of friendship or a desire to spend time with someone they like. When children are around seven or eight years old, they truly start to understand what infatuation is. From this age onwards, they can also experience infatuation in a romantic way. Although children at this age understand infatuation better, their feelings of infatuation are not the same as those experienced by adults.

Infatuation in children is generally harmless. As a parent, it's important to help your children deal with infatuation in a healthy way. Teach them to respect the feelings of others and not to play with anyone's heart carelessly. It's also useful to educate children about rejection or a broken heart, as even the best of us experience this. Listen to your child's feelings and be open to asking questions about their infatuation. It can also help to set clear boundaries and emphasize the importance of respectful and acceptable behavior, regardless of how someone feels.

How to handle your child's infatuation

A first infatuation can be very intense, and a broken heart even more so. To support your child as best as possible and teach them about infatuation, here are some tips:

  • Listen to what your child has to say. Let your child talk about his or her feelings and show interest in what they have to say.
  • Try not to be judgmental. Try to be open to your child's feelings, even if you may not fully understand them.
  • Provide reassurance. Let your child know that it's normal to feel infatuated and that everyone deals with love in their own way.
  • Offer advice when asked. If your child asks for advice, give practical tips on how to deal with infatuation.
  • Respect your child's privacy. If your child doesn't want to talk about his or her infatuation, respect that and don't force it. This will prevent them from keeping secrets or worse, lying about it later on.

Infatuation is different for everyone; we've all experienced it. Fortunately, infatuation is also something very beautiful. Do you remember your first love? Happy Valentine's Day!

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