There comes an inevitable time in every parent’s life when they will see their child develop a crush on a member of the opposite sex. At the age of 25 – I’m hoping, and not before!
But, what should a parent do when their Junior and Senior Infants come home declaring their undying love for a boy or girl in their class and announce, over dinner, that they have made up their mind and that they will marry said person and isn’t that great to have it all sorted out – at the age of six?!
With the development of writing and drawing skills among our young Romeo’s and Juliet’s, love notes and drawings of love hearts can be prepared and handed over in secret while out on yard, and before you know it you’ve got a full on case of teenage-lovers-angst on your hands.
Personally, I’ve tried explaining to my son that if he really likes a girl, it doesn’t mean he has to marry her (using examples of the tonnes of female friends Daddy has who he didn’t marry and all the male friends mummy has who she didn’t marry). He looks at me, bewildered, unable to see my point and insistent on his impending nuptials.
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I suppose many of us will see our little people’s hearts soar – or be broken – by the love notes and cards they may, or may not, receive. So, as a parent what should we do for the best? Laugh it all off and brush it away with a bit of necessary teasing (my parents teased me, therefore I have the right to tease my kids – no?), or should we take these early expressions of love a little more seriously?
Violets are red, roses are blue, I’m a parent who doesn’t know what to do.