It’s very real and very intense. Don’t make the mistake of downplaying the object of your child’s affection

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, a time when young hearts turn to love.

Thirteen-year-old Jeannine couldn’t wait to tell her friend the big news.

“Omigod, Cameron looked at me in science class. Should I put the mystery Valentine on his desk like we talked about?”

“I don’t know, Jeannine. Are you sure he looked at you, and it wasn’t Tessa he was looking at?”

“I don’t know. I don’t know. What should I do?”

Ryan’s mom was talking to her friend about her 17-year-old son.

“He showed me this necklace he bought for Elena that he’s going to give to her for Valentine’s Day, and it was like $400. I mean, that’s a couple months worth of what he earns working at his part-time job. I think he’s way too serious about her.”

“Well, they have been going out for almost a year.”

“Thirteen months, seventeen days, actually. That’s what he said this morning.”

Teenage love is very real. Not just sex, but love. It could be the seemingly mindless crush of a 13-year-old girl on a boy in her science class, or the far more mature love relationship of a high school senior for his long-time girlfriend.



Carolyn Hanig experienced one of the worst things that a mother can imagine.


Dear Dr. Wolf,

My 14-year-old son “caught” my husband smoking outside. My husband quit smoking four years ago but has apparently started again without telling any of us. My son is very angry and has lost significant respect for his dad. I have tried to explain to my husband the loss of trust, but he feels our son should be able to move on. I honestly don’t know if I need more help dealing with my husband or my son. I just need to find something to help our son deal with the mistrust he is experiencing now.

Caught in Between

Dear Caught in Between,

Parents of teenagers automatically have a terrible problem: They are human beings. Which means they, like all other human beings, have flaws.