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Topping their list of questions is, “How do you know when you’re in love with somebody?” They are also genuinely curious about their parents’ courtship and marriage (“Mom, did you fall in love with Dad at first sight?Dating customs have changed since you were a teenager.

”) and, if applicable, divorce (“Dad, how can two people love each other for years and years, then stop being in love? Having an imperfect romantic résumé yourself does not disqualify you from initiating this conversation.

You might say, “I haven’t always made the wisest decisions when it comes to love, but I’ve promised myself that the next time I become involved with someone special, I won’t settle for anything less than a healthy, honest relationship.

Parents need to treat a brokenhearted youngster’s feelings seriously.

“Breakups are one of the major precipitators of suicidal gestures in young people,” says Dr. The vast majority of kids, though, will get over their hurt and be fine.

Moms and dads can aid the healing process by being generous with their time, patience and hugs.

A little extra sensitivity helps, too, for in this situation, knowing what not to say is as important as choosing the right words.

Teenagers haven’t yet learned how resilient the heart is.

The first time they experience romantic rejection, the sadness can seem bottomless.

However, you might not recognize it as dating per se.

The recent trend among early adolescents is for boys and girls to socialize as part of a group.

If you see schoolwork start to suffer and friendships fall by the wayside, it is reasonable to restrict the number of times Romeo and Juliet can rendezvous during the school week.

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