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How to Help Your Granddaughter When She Has a Crush

By HoneyGood.com Guest Contributor, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

We’ve all been there. The first crush. That rush that takes us by surprise, whether we are 5 or 19. Unexpected most of the time. I’m a positive psychologist in private practice for over 35 years. I can tell you, love is a big problem. Whether it is falling in love, or being in love, or not being loved, or trying to forget about a lover. No matter what stage of life, love can be a royal pain if not understood. Helping kids, tweens and teens better understand the feelings and issues around a first crush, or around falling in love can be very helpful. So,  how can you help your granddaughter when she has a crush?

Who better to do this, than a grandparent? Now, let’s get honest. Haven’t we been around a long time? And haven’t we seen all sorts of ‘love’ situations, both good and bad? Haven’t we done some loving ourselves? Sure we have and hopefully, still, are. So let’s help out those youngsters when the first surges of passion and desire stir.

The First Crush

I had my first crush at nine years of age. What a shock! A new kid walked into class; I was busy doing an assignment when I looked up, and suddenly I had feelings I had never felt before. I couldn’t take my eyes off this kid, and I felt my heart beating fast. What was it about him? Was it his eyes, his mouth? To this day I am not sure. But I do know I had a serious crush.

Over the next three years, I carried this crush, thinking I was in love. As I approached puberty, I often imagined us kissing or lying in the sun after swimming together. Sadly, I also realized that in the real world, this kid was not sharing my passions. I’m not sure he knew I had a crush. Finally, as time went on, I stopped thinking about him, helped by the fact that I was growing taller and he was growing shorter. 😉

My Pointers

So what are some pointers I can give to you as a grandmother myself, a positive psychologist and someone who had a very long first crush?

Never make fun of a granddaughter’s crush or feelings of falling in love. Listen, be sympathetic and interested, and share your initial feelings about love easily, and even some of your first adventures. Your being real will be very helpful and appreciated, and in many cases, your grandchild’s parents may not have the time, energy, or patience to share like this. You do.

Encourage your grandchild to stay involved with her school work, hobbies, sports, after-school activities, etc. This is the time of her life, whether she is 9 or 17, to keep developing talents and skills that can lead to a successful career, wonderful hobbies, great friendships, healthy living, etc.

Real Talk… and Listening

Explain some reality issues to your grandchild. For example, reminding your grandchild that you had more than one crush, and perhaps several serious relationships that felt like love will widen the window and build a bridge to understanding each other. No harm in letting your grandchild know that all of this amazing biology of attraction has been with us for tons of years. It helps us mate, raise children, to eventually have grandchildren, but it isn’t perfect. However, it is good enough! After all, it led to you having this marvelous grandkid.

And, above all, hug your granddaughter and tell her how much you love her.


About the author: Guest contributor, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein
Sometimes friends and colleagues call me ‘The Enchanted Self.’ That’s because as a psychologist in private practice for over 35 years, I’ve developed a form of positive psychology called THE ENCHANTED SELF.  I’m not enchanted, but I do have many ways and ideas to help all of us feel better through all stages of life.  These methods help us recognize our potential, no matter what our ages, grab on to our talents and find again and again the emotional energies needed to be creative, resourceful, resilient and to live joyfully. 
As a woman, a grandmother, and a psychologist, I’m excited to share some of my knowledge and wisdom with you. I’ve written many books, including two books for girls, ‘The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween and Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen.  Also a book for adult women, ‘THE ENCHANTED SELF, A Positive Therapy.  I’m a filmmaker also. My short films about girls, tweens, and teens have won many awards. Often based on my two books for girls, they are great stepping off points for moms and grandmothers to share with their kids.  You can contact me at barbara.holstein@gmail.com  or via my website www.enchantedself.com


February 25, 2019


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  1. Beth Gouldkristine says:

    To Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein…
    I wish to view your short subjects on teens and tweens. How may I view these programs?

    • Susan "Honey" Good says:

      write to: barbara.holstein.gmail.com. Please tell her I gave you her email address. Happy to help.Warmly, Honey

  2. Lisa Rubin says:

    My first crush was in the third grade. When I saw this person would be in my class that year, I nearly fell off my chair. Black hair, large brow eyes. I never said a word to him, too overwhelmed, too shy. Then in the fourth grade, he moved away somewhere far, far far away (actually not far: Long Island, NY). Decades later I married my husband whom I met at a LeJuda dance and it was love at first sight. Black hair, enormous brown eyes. Married 33 years. P.S. I googled the third grade kid on FB, just to see his image now (we all do)…not so cute anymore. Oy!

    • Susan "Honey" Good says:

      You have the best personality! I love when you message me. isn’t Oy the best word! It says, everything!!!! Warmly, Honey

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