Tips for Tots: Budding Young Love

By Anne A. McGrady

Surprising as it may seem, preschools can and do talk about their strong feelings for a classmate.

This behavior, a first crush, is completely normal and can become a valuable learning experience for a 4-5 year old. The learning has begun as the preschooler can handle his emotions and then can talk about this to adults.

In “Love & Logic Magic for Early Childhood,” Dr. Charles Fay explains when a child of this age who confesses being in love really means he/she has found someone they enjoy being with. Children are then using words they have heard adults use when speaking to someone from the opposite sex.

Same sex crushes are not related to actual romance nor are they related to sex. The connection appears to be a warm feeling connection and a desire to be with another child. Crushes can be long lasting and/or fleeting.

As children grow and develop in the 4-5 year old range, they have developed strong feelings which were reserved and acknowledged by their families. Now these feelings become more global and expand to their teacher, children and characters (SpongeBob, etc.)

Very age appropriate and common is witnessing children who are “in love.” They may talk about getting married and having weddings. At this age, children understand the world around them by acting things out and imitating adult behavior.

In children’s relationships, one or the other may find another pal and feel rejected by the child. Helping your child learn to cope is an important part of growing up which develops coping skills and confidence.

An explanation about some children changing their mind and finding someone else to play with may help then you remind the child they have many friends that want to really pay with you!

Happy Valentine's Day, sweethearts!



“The Very Fairy Princess Follows Her Heart - A Valentine’s Day Adventure,” by Julie Andrews. 4-6 years. Geraldine is at her sparkly best when she’s making people smile, so she’s worked especially hard to make one-of-a-kind valentines for all of her classmates.


“The Helpful Puppy – Puppy Love,” by Kim Zarins. 2-4 yrs. All the barnyard animals do their part to keep the farm in tip top shape. Little ones love to help and they’ll love discovering all the ways the puppy lends a helping paw.