My daughter loves to sing. In the car, as we listen to the radio, she often joins in and sings her favourite songs at the top of her voice. Adele’s Hello is one of those (“Mom, when I grow up, I’ll learn to sing exactly like Adele“). Whenever she hears Adele’s voice, everybody must keep quiet as she starts singing her own version. And then she asks me: “Mom, what is she singing about, in fact”?
Well, I was at a loss the first time, I didn’t know how to respond. Most of those beautiful power ballads are about love. How can a five-year-old understand what life, passion, disappointments are all about? What does a pre-schooler know about love and should kids her age even be told about it?
Parents’ approaches vary. Some tell their children everything and would take any opportunity to explain life some more. A friend of mine takes pride in not having concealed anything from her son (who is now in primary school). When she’s happy, she laughs and bounces with joy. When she’s sad, she cries and lets it all out even if he’s around. I don’t think there’s a single correct approach; we are all different and our children are different, too.
When people say “all in good time”, they rarely ever really know when that time would come.
But, love, ah, love! It’s hard to believe how early in life kids start talking about it!
My daughter has never been in love (which is ok by me). So far, she has only told me about what’s been going on at the kindergarten (“Mom, can you believe it? Johnny fell in love with Nadia, but now he loves Nelly because Nadia prefers to play with Mina“). When she sees people kissing on the lips, she always says “yuck” and turns away.
So, we are still in the safe zone, and I hope this period will last.
As it is, it seems that boys find it easier to give their hearts away than girls: my daughter has already had two “suitors” and one of them even gave her flowers and presents! She just gaped at him in utter confusion, like she was wondering what she had done to deserve a red rose or a Barby doll a day before her birthday.
Meanwhile, the boys’ moms smiled and sized me up, like they were trying to assess if they should already start investing in the little princes’ love life.
Naturally, all those childhood crushes fade away quickly and my daughter was soon promoted into a good friend. I only wondered if any of them would remember those first flutters of the heart later in life.