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Piedmont Parent Magazine helps parents help their kids deal with matters of the heart

GREENSBORO, NC -- It's estimated it costs $240,000 to bring up a child, not counting college. That's the monetary toll-- not the emotional toll. Piedmont Parent Magazine's Eleanor-Scott Davis is talking about matters of the heart today. She said crushes happen at different life stages and are different in intensity.

THROUGH KINDERGARTEN

Davis said it's normal for a young child to fixate on someone he likes, be it a friend or even a teacher. She said its a great place to open discussions about concepts such as marriage, friendship, living together and love. For young children with crushes, give simple instructions for expressing and receiving affection, being a good friend, and respecting others' personal space to help them navigate strong feelings and budding friendships.

ELEMENTARY-MIDDLE

Davis said in this age group, the crush can include name calling, the whole negative attention thing. When dealing with children ages 6-12, crushes often appear anything but affectionate. Kids may show interest with negative attention, from name-calling to schoolyard chasing. Davis said most have no idea how to deflect unwanted attention from a peer with a crush on them. For these kids, it's all part of learning about boundaries and group dynamics. Getting along with peers, both those they are interested in and those they may not be interested in, is an important component of normative development.

PRE-TEEN AND EARLY TEEN

This is where you're dealing with the transition to real dating. Davis said when it comes to teens and crushes, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to letting your child start dating. If "real" dates are still a few years off, group dates, movie nights at home, or parent-chaperoned outings can help pave the way for more dating autonomy later on. Before dating begins, start talking with teens about boundaries: things like responsibility, dating curfews, how the family screens potential dates, and what to do if your child feels uncomfortable on a date.

All this week, 2 Wants To Know has been talking organization, and Piedmont Parent's latest edition has a list of all the consignment sales in the area. This would be a good time to clean out-- and restock. Click here to find the list.

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