Salad days is the time when the physical and sexual attraction between the opposite sex is at its peak. Girls and guys learn to celebrate mutual enjoyment and develop a social compatibility with each other.
With technology at hand and mobile apps ruling the roost, the chances of teenage dating are quite high. Dr Deepali Batra, clinical and child psychologist from New Delhi, says, “The digital world has changed our way of life. It has exposed children to a lot of interaction and therefore children as young as 11-years-old are keen on having a boyfriend or a girlfriend.”
Child psychologist Shobna Srivastava from Hyderabad warns you of any abrupt changes in your child. “Changed behaviour is a part of teenage. Children become conscious of their looks and body language. Yet, if you observe any sudden changes in your teenager, then it is time to confront them.”
Here are a few signs to know whether your teenager is dating.
They develop new tastes
It is common for dating teens to develop similar tastes as his/her beloved. If you find your teenager developing newer hobbies like, listening to music, taking up a particular sport, chances are that he/she is following his/her love interest. Besides, turning to music is the first step in love. “When kids crave for more personal space and are inclined towards new interests they are chances that they want to spend more time thinking about, and doing things that their beau/ belle does.” shares Batra.
Perfumes are a part of growing up. But if you have noticed your teenager trying out different fragrances and splurging excessively on perfumes and deodorants, more than he/she ever did, you know what’s cooking. According to Srivastava it is an obvious thing to do. “While everyone wants to look good, if your child has recently begun spending more than usual time in front of the mirror, it’s time you are alarmed. For it is obvious for them to smell good, dress dapper, and wear a particular fragrance when they go out with their new found love.”
Wake up to oral make up
Moms are known to shout their lungs out to teach their children the value of oral hygiene, but in vain. Even if many follow it is with sheer reluctance. But dating teens make sure to brush every time they step out of the house. Some brush their teeth at least thrice a day. Now don’t wonder why. You aren’t innocent, are you? Srivastava agrees saying, “Dating teenagers are more keen on brushing their teeth every time they go out. They are conscious about their smile and the way their mouth smells.”
It’s raining gifts
What is falling in love without those gifts? In case your teenager has been receiving gifts from the ‘so called best friend’ more often than ever, then it is time for you to wake up. The most common gifts are mobile accessories, mobile phones, perfumes, watches, to name a few. Batra agreed that teenagers in love insist on a raise in their pocket money.
Lately if you have been proudly declaring that your child is not active on WhatsApp and stays away from chatting online, then its time you update yourself. Many teenagers move away from the popular chatting apps and download the lesser known apps so as to not being caught ‘online’. This gives them ample time with their love interest and also keeps friends and family members at bay.
Either your child has suddenly started socialising or has withdrawn from it completely. The extreme of both the cases is a sign that he/she is dating. More friends’ birthdays to attend, or not visiting old pals, glued to the phone most of the time and abstain from lending the phone to anyone, these all can be the signs of dating.
Many youngsters love to doodle the name of their boyfriend/girlfriend. They scribble a lot and many even turn to poetry and writing.
Note: These are just a few signs as to how teenagers behave when they have a love interest. The best way to find about what is going on in your child’s life is to take them into confidence and be friendly with them. “Several parents react adversely when they learn about their child’s love interest. Some act impulsively and end up either humiliating the child or making him/her feel guilty. It is important for parents to stay calm and listen to their children. Times are changing and parents need to learn that and deal with there children by becoming friends with them and not lecturing them or being a control freak,” says Batra.