Being a parent is hard, and no one has a manual to help them through the challenges of parents. All parents are making it up as they go, and hope that whatever they have done will work out for the best. After all, most parents only have their child’s best interests at heart, even if everything doesn’t always work out perfectly. As your child start to get older, it might seem like getting through to them is becoming almost impossible. Teenagers become withdrawn and don’t want to share as much with you, and you’re left hoping to gauge anything you can from the little they say. One of the most common situations that you might come across with your teenager is their first real heartbreak. It’s natural for a teenager to enter romantic relationships, and it’s also quite natural that sometimes they don’t work out. You might not always know what to do or how to handle the situation the best way, but below are some tips that can make it easier.
1. Let Them Be
Everyone has different reactions to heartbreak, so you might not always know how your teen is going to react. The important thing here is to let them be for a while because this can help you understand how you can proceed. If they want to be by themselves or come to you, both should be responded to with no judgment. This situation won’t have a right thing or a wrong thing; it just has a lot of pain for your child. You might want to be there for them in every way and take care of them during this time, but giving them that space for themselves is also really important. This is an opportunity for your child to learn about disappointments in life and for you to treat your child like an adult and let them handle some things on their own.
2. There’s No Quick Fix
You might feel like this is not that big a deal, or you might be tempted to tell your child that they will get over it or there are better people out there waiting to meet them. This won’t be helpful however, because it is pushing them to feel better when all they want to do is hurt for a bit. A heartbreak is one of the most painful and stressful things to go through, so it cannot be rushed forward or made to feel better. Remember that being in pain is okay for some time, and everyone has to experience it for a while before they start seeing that it can get better.
3. Be There To Listen
When your child does approach you to talk, try to just listen to them without bringing in any ideas or opinions. In a lot of cases, you might be happy that they have broken up because you didn’t like their partner or the circumstances were not good, but don’t say these things to your child. This may make your child angry at you or become defensive about their choices, and they might end up shutting you out. Remind your child that you are there for them whenever they need, and that you will always be available to listen to them.
4. Talking To Them
When you begin to talk about the break up, it’s alright to ask questions but don’t be interrogative. Let them tell you what happened by themselves, and try to reflect or summarize what they feel or say to you so that they know you are listening and understanding what they are saying. Don’t try to tell them about your own stories of heartbreaks; it is your child’s time to talk right now and you are someone who is there to listen to them fully without interjecting their story with your own. Giving them advice will not help them to get to the solution on their own, and can hinder their emotional intelligence development. Be there for them, listen without being judgmental, and definitely help them with advice and examples if they ask you for it.
5. When To Worry
Though it might be hard to stay away, it is important that you let your teen be by themselves and sort it out. They might not take part in activities or social gatherings for a while, and that is okay. You can give them suggestions or encourage them to get out more or spend time with friends, but if they don’t want to, don’t force them. However, if they are unwilling to do anything even after a fortnight, you might want to ask them if they want to talk to a counselor for help. Most often though, just you being there for them and offering your understanding can be enough for them to open up and heal over.