We all know that children fall in love! Easily! They see someone that looks inviting and they are warm and open and cupid’s arrow hits them. The problem is this might happen at any age.
When it happens to your child when they are in middle school you are eager and ready to help them understand how they might be feeling. When it happens in High School you caution them on taking things too fast.
What happens to you when it is your five or six year old?
How about when it is your eight, nine or ten year old that falls in love? When my son was 11 he wanted to write a book about students in love in an international school. I wondered if he had enough information. He sat down and started typing. Four days later in the summer holiday, he had about 35 pages of words about love in an elementary school. As an educator, I had to sit back and say, “What do I do to help my students when this happens to them?” As a parent, I wondered, “Do I support my child enough when this happens?”
Then I think about a summer years ago and a conversation that I overheard between my nine year old and his grandma. He was explaining to Grandma about the girl he had meet at the lakeside park on the swings. He said, “Grandma, did you see that really pretty girl at the swings?” Grandma was trying to determine who this girl was and asked simple questions like, “Did she have the purple swimsuit or was she the one with the red hair?”
When your child is very experienced in the international world, his/her answers might not follow this type of logic. I hear my son say, “Well Grandma, she had very warm golden skin. It was not really like an Indonesian color but more like Malaysian skin. Do you know where she is from?
Grandma replied, “I am not sure, tell me more.”
“She had warm tan skin and big brown eyes with a cute smile.”
“I didn’t see her.”
“She might be from some other place, maybe she is from Myanmar.”
Remember my son has spent most of his live living in South East Asia. This was his frame of reference and he could understand the uniqueness of each region even at the age of nine. He had not been exposed to all of the types of people in Nevada, USA.
I wonder if this could have develop into a “crush” if he had ever run into that “little warm golden skinned girl with the great smile” at the local park again.
More about his book can be found here.