5 Pro Tips To Support Your Teen Through A Break-Up 

Everyone remembers the feeling of falling in love for the first time, but even more so the crushing emotions of the break-up.

Watching your teen go through the pain of lost love is hard to bear, and saying the wrong thing can push them deeper into despair. 

Although it may have been some time since you have had to use it, pull out the emergency break-up kit of ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ and rocky road ice cream, because we are going to help you patch your teen’s heart up in no time.

Any parent’s natural reaction is to fix things when their children come to them with a problem, but that isn’t always the solution. 

You want your child to learn and grow by the experience while feeling supported, loved, and listened to. 

It’s impossible to take all the pain away in one fell swoop but there are ways to ease the blow, and bond a little on the way. 

  1. Don’t minimize their emotions

It’s easy to say with all of our experiences and hindsight cliché things like, “It’s your first love, there will be another one” or “You’re just a child, you will get over it.”

In that moment your teen’s emotions are real and they are big. Validate what they are feeling by saying things like, “I know this is hard” and “I’m sorry you are going through this.”

Let your teen go through her own range of emotions to recovery while trying not to let your own feelings on the issue get in the way. 

  1. Allow healing to take time

Everyone grieves at their own pace, and having your heart breaking carries a lot of baggage to work through. 

Try to be patient when your teen pouts at the dinner table for a week while just pushing their food around. 

If your teen begins to become isolated, that is when you step in to make sure that the broken heart doesn’t develop into depression.

Gently encourage your teen to do things around the house or to go on errands with you. They may not be the best company, but it will help them to get back into a routine which is healing. 

  1. Always be willing to listen

As tempting as it is to put in your two-cents every time your teen goes over their heartbreak with you, try to resist.

Being pushy or opinionated will only cause them to confide in someone else. And if they don’t want to talk the first time you offer assure them that your are always there for them when they feel up to it.

Processing new emotions like a lost love is difficult, they may not even know what they are feeling themselves. 

Talking helps to identify and heal from all the wounds left by a break-up, even if it was two-weeks with the high school quarter back.

  1. Help to distract from the pain

While ignoring emotions is unhealthy, it is beneficial at times to take a break from all the mental chaos so you can recuperate and start fresh. 

Pick a couple of your teen’s favorite things to do and have a ‘fun day’ with them. Go to the skate park before dinner, or squeeze in a mani-pedi after school.

This is also a good time to help them get away from checking Facebook every 5 minutes to see what their ex is up to. 

Amy Morin, LCSW, writing for Very Well Family says that this break can remind them “that life is pretty great, even without a boyfriend or girlfriend.”

  1. Give hugs

This may seem like a simple act, but it is more powerful than you realize. Not only is a great way to offer a shoulder to cry on, it boosts your teen’s mood while  giving them the love they need during healing.

HuffPost reports:

Holding a hug, hearts pressed together, increases serotonin levels, thereby elevating mood. Likewise, hugging releases oxytocin, a “bonding” hormone which creates attachment in relationships. Hugging relaxes muscles. When embracing in a hug, blood circulation increases, easing tension in muscles.”

Hugs are that special kid of medicine that they may have not known they needed until they got it. 

You may think that your teen is better off without having a significant other, or you may not see the big deal with dating for a short period and then moving on, but your teen is entitled to their own emotions.

One of the toughest parts of parenting is watching our children go through life’s challenges, but being a strong support through it all can make the pain a little less and the highlights a little brighter. 

Please let us know if you have navigated this tough terrain before and how you handled it all. x

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