teenage couple

Young love is in the air. Are you ready to deal with it as the parent?


Ah, puppy love. Remember the thrill of getting a valentine from a secret admirer in middle or high school and becoming all googly-eyed about a new crush? Even if it happened 20, 30 or 40 years ago (gulp!), you can still probably recall the excitement -- and heartbreak -- of first love as if it happened yesterday.

Now that you have kids, the shoe's on the other foot. The minute your daughter or son comes home "in love," you're in new territory -- one that involves setting boundaries, enforcing rules and a bunch of worries. And let's not even go into the potential for awkward conversations. Not so dreamy this time around.

Your kid might start acting secretive and mysterious about this new relationship, but he or she could actually use your guidance right now. You need to set rules, but also be there for honest conversation and good advice -- and to help pick up the pieces if things don't end well.