The following came from a Boston.com readers Q&A yesterday with Child Caring writer Barbara Meltz
Question: Since we're approaching Valentine's Day, how do you handle your young child's first broken heart? More of getting over your first crush (middle school age). Thanks so much.
Barbara Meltz: Suse, I'm impressed that you recognize it for what it is, only a crush but a broken heart nonetheless. Feelings of affection are just as real for a child in the throes of a first crush as they are for someone much older, so it's best to be respectful of the feelings (although you want to be careful that, at this age, you don't encourage inappropriate expressions of the feelings).
Probably the most helpful way now that the crush has reached the heart-broken stage is to talk about how how nice it is to care for another person and to say that sometimes that person doesn't like you as much as you like them, that "It's a sad fact of life, but it is a fact of life."
Save the comments about when she "really falls in love" and all that stuff. She won't be able to hear them and even if she did, it will come across as mom/dad not understanding. Better to stay with the moment, offer empathy, inicluding comments that show that you respect her feelings and know they are real. That will help her move on more than you realize.
Do you agree with Barbara? Remember your own first broken heart? Have your say in our comments section.