Many children and young adults with learning disabilities also struggle with social skills development in the area of romantic relationships. They may have difficulty understanding their feelings and judging the difference between the different types of love they will experience. Whether your child is in the puppy love, crushing, or mature love stages, it is a good time to teach the difference between a crush and real love. These tips can help you start.
Teaching LD Kids About Love - Talking with Learning Disabled Children About LoveIf your learning disabled child has a crush it is a good time to share important values and realities about relationships with the opposite sex:
- Start with early, ideally before your child has a crush. He will be more likely to listen and remember your discussions before he actually experiences these feelings.
- Keep your points clear and simple.
- Talking while playing sports, making a craft, or other activity sometimes decreases a child's embarrassment over talking about sensitive topics.
- Be the guide by her side; not the sage on the stage. Talk with your child and not at your child.
- Ask open-ended questions that encourage your child to talk.
- Remain positive.
Crushes vs Love - Teach Your LD Child Types of Affection Humans ExperiencePrepare your child for emotional growth by helping her understand the wide range of feelings all humans feel:
- The love we feel for family members is the first experience we have with love.
- The enjoyment we experience through friendships teaches us concern and appreciation of others. Helping your child make friends and choose healthy friendships will help her make good choices later in life.
- Our earliest feelings of romantic affection are often called crushes. When we have a crush on someone, we think about them a lot. They make us feel happy, nervous, excited, embarrassed, and silly all at once.
- Crushes are different from mature love.
- Crushes are temporary.
Understanding Crushes - Teaching Learning Disabled Children About CrushesTeaching your child about crushes in advance helps them know what to expect and enables you to talk rationally about them. Share information over time in small doses when your child seems receptive. If you feel comfortable doing so, share stories from your own teen years with your child. Important points. Crushes:
- can be wonderful and difficult at the same time;
- usually last six months or less;
- cause intense feelings but are not the same as mature love;
- can tempt you to want to show physical affection that you might later regret;
- are unpredictable with ups and downs like a roller coaster;
- make you think about the other person and daydream about being with them.
Handle Crushes with Care - Teach Your Child to Manage FeelingsThe thrill of our first crushes are hard to resist. We want the world to know, or at least we think we do. Share these reasons why we need to keep those feelings in check:
- If you tell one person, others will almost always find out.
- People who know may tease you and the person you like.
- Your crush may or may not feel the same way toward you.
- Your crush may be unhappy or angry if others tease him about you.
- Remember, very few crushes last long.
- If you date your crush, at some point, one of you will likely lose interest before the other. Someone's feelings could be hurt in the process.
Survival Tips for Crushes - How to Avoid a Bruised Ego or Broken HeartTeach your child how to survive a crush with less chance for embarrassment or heartbreak for himself and others. Help him realize:
- Crushes are normal and short lived. She can ride them out safely by staying involved with activities she enjoys.
- He can avoid embarrassment by keeping his feelings to himself.
- If she plans to date her crush, she may be able to avoid heartbreak by keeping the relationship friendly and not serious. Share your ideas about dating, and make sure she is ready before you allow it.
- He can avoid peer pressure to engage in behavior against your family's values.
Does Someone Have a Crush on Your Child? Teach Respect for OthersChances are quite good that someone will have a crush on your teen that is not a mutual feeling. Encourage your child to:
- Remember that we can't always help it when we have a crush;
- Know that it won't last and that if he waits long enough it will go away;
- Respect the other person's feelings. If she feels she cannot be nice, she can avoid the person.
- If he is teased about someone's crush, he can nicely but firmly tell the teasers that it isn't funny and to stop. If the problem escalates, he can talk with a trusted teacher to request help.