Break-ups are always painful, but what teenage breakup advice will help them get through one of the toughest parts of adolescence?
When your child has broken up with their partner, you must recognize that they need time to heal. Be there for them, offer support at any time they need it and give them space to process the changes.
As a parent, it’s important to understand when your child has just broken up with their partner and needs time to heal.
Give them space to be by themselves for a little while. This allows them to process the changes in their life and cry without judgment.
Offer support in any way you can — making sure they know that you’re there for them no matter what is going on might also help mitigate any future feelings of rejection or inadequacy.
Acceptance is the most important thing when you’re trying to help your teen through their first broken heart.
How Can You Help Your Child With Their First Break Up?
Validate Your Teens Emotions
When your teen goes through a breakup, it is essential to validate his or her emotions. Try not to minimize their feelings. Just because they’re young doesn’t mean that the pain isn’t just as significant as an adult’s broken heart.
We often say things to minimize their pain, but by doing that, we actually make them feel alone and that their emotions are not genuine or important.
Instead of saying, “you’re too young for a serious relationship anyway,” rather let them know that you understand their pain. You can say things like “I’m sorry that this happened”, or “it must be very painful for you right now”.
Remember that both boys and girls will feel the pain of a broken heart similarly. They may not show it in the same way, though.
Don’t Try to Talk Them Out of Feeling Bad
Moving on from a broken heart is a process that takes time. Even if it feels like your child is in the deepest depths of a mood, they still need their own space and time to find their way out.
It’s also crucial for you to give your child space to heal and understand what is happening before you try to bring him or her out of that state. You need to be there for them, but they should be in charge of their own healing process.
Listen More, Speak Less
Focus on letting your daughter vent without focusing on trying to fix it. It is incredibly therapeutic for your daughter to talk and feel heard at this point.
Determine how they feel about their relationship ending. Please encourage them to express their emotions. Anger, fear, and sadness are all normal feelings — but your teen will need to process these feelings before moving on.
They need time and a safe space to vent their frustration, confusion, and pain. You can advise at a later stage once the pain is considerably less.
Let them talk, and if they want advice once their emotions have calmed down, then that’s the right time to give it.
Don’t Ask Too Many Questions
As much as you might want to know exactly what happened and who said what, it’s better not to probe too much.
Give them space to talk to you and tell you what they feel comfortable discussing.
Try not to discuss whose fault it is or place blame. They need a non-judgmental ear to listen and be there for them.
Encourage Them To Talk To Their Friends
Sometimes they would prefer to get support and validation from their friends. This shows your teenager that they’re not alone in their struggles.
Invite some of their close friends for a sleepover so they can discuss their feelings in a safe environment.
Many teens are going through the same experiences and emotions, so it helps to know they’re not alone.
Be On Their Side
Even if your child is the one that did the breaking up, it’s still a difficult time, and they’ll most likely be upset about it.
You might not agree with their decision, but you’re not there to judge or give advice right now.
Support their decision and let them know that you’re in their corner.
Don’t Speak Badly About Their Ex
Saying negative things about their ex won’t make the pain any less. Rather stay neutral.
It’s better if, in time, they remember the positives about their past relationships. It’s great if they’re able to stay friends with an ex rather than never wanting to speak to them again.
It’s part of being able to deal with a breakup maturely and helps them move on.
If your teen is harboring resentment, encourage them not to speak ill of the other person. Some teens feel so much jealousy that they are unwilling to trust the other person again.
Don’t Make It About You
We’re all tempted to let someone know that we understand what they’re going through by sharing our own stories. Although it might seem relevant, it’s not what they need from you right now.
Instead, let them share their own experience and emotions with you – remember that it’s their story and their pain.
If your teen asks, then you can share a short story (don’t go into detail) highlighting that they might not feel that they’ll get through this, but they will in time.
Discuss Social Media Usage
It’s very common for teens to share everything on social media. It might be a good time to take a bit of a break from social media right now.
They might say something they might regret later. For example, don’t badmouth your ex or post personal details about the split.
Teens are not always mature enough to handle a breakup respectfully. They may need your advice on what they shouldn’t share publicly.
Encourage Them to Stay Busy
Provide some distractions and try to keep them busy. This will help your child take a break from thinking about their breakup.
Choose whatever activity they enjoy, like shopping or going to a ball game. Outdoor activities are very therapeutic, like going for a long walk or enjoying some time on the beach.
Another distraction could be to work on a project together, like redecorating their room. Activity not only keeps your teen off social media, but it reminds him/her that life has a lot to offer, even when they’re single.
Stick To Routine
As soon as possible, stick to their usual routine. They might need a few days to wallow, but the regular daily routine will also fill their days and keep them busy as with distractions.
Although you still need to be sensitive to your teen’s feelings, you should try your best to treat them normally. You may not realize that treating them differently for too long or repeatedly bringing it up could just be reminding them of their heartbreak.
Assure Them That They Will Get Through This
You might want to explore the possible positives of the breakup with them if they’re open to the idea. Tread lightly as they might not be open to this in the beginning. When they’re ready, you can bring up these ideas.
Was there an activity that they enjoyed but drifted away from as a result of the relationship? Did they lose touch with an old friend?
A 2003 study of people who had recently been through a breakup, found that every participant could identify at least one positive outcome from the breakup.
The average participant provided five positive life changes — such as the ability to spend more time with friends and learning to not jump into a relationship too quickly. In addition, participants also reported increases in positive emotions such as relief and joy, increased self-confidence and personal growth.”washingtonpost.com
Watch this interesting video on how “Breakups don’t have to leave you broken”
Remember That You Can’t Fix ‘It.’
As much as you’ll want to, you cannot heal their broken heart. They need time to get over it.
Your job is to support them and let them feel understood and loved.
This is a life lesson that they will probably grow through several times in their life. Not only with romantic relationships but also friendships. They’re learning how to deal with disappointment in life.
Look To The Future
Remind them that they have their whole life ahead of them. They will meet many new and interesting people and will most likely have several relationships. Each stage of life brings new experiences and opportunities to meet new people.
When To Seek Help
If your child does not show any visible signs of getting over the breakup in time, it might be advisable to speak to a therapist.
When your child feels particularly depressed, hopeless, feels worthless, isn’t sleeping well, or when their ability to function is impaired for long periods after the breakup, it might be time for them to seek help.
Take Time Before Dating Again
Encourage them not to rush into another relationship because it’s too soon or too soon after a breakup. Registering feelings can take time, making it harder for your teen to think clearly and make dating decisions.
It’s important to determine when your teen is ready to date again. This can vary depending on what they’re going through at the time, but generally, it’s best for them to wait a few months after breaking up before looking for a new partner.
Continue being understanding and encouraging whenever they talk about their feelings. You need to be patient while they heal from their first broken heart.
- It’s best to allow your teenagers to express their big emotions so they can address them properly.
- Focus on their experiences by asking questions allowing them to express everything that is on their mind without being judgmental.
- We can help them by allowing them to have a support system that allows them to talk to others without feeling as much pressure.
- It’s important to understand that your child’s emotions are real and let them express their feelings. Don’t try to minimize the hurt by minimizing their feelings.
- Focus on their experience. You might be tempted to share stories of your own past break-ups, but now is probably not the best time. Rather listen and ask them questions about their situation.
- Sometimes giving them space is needed as well.
- Be there for them, and plan to have further conversations to help them navigate future relationships down the line.
No matter how the conversation plays out, the most important thing you can do for your teenager is be present. Let them know you are with them through the emotional ups and downs of life—including dating life.