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When your teen grows up, hormones start kicking in and they start exploring new experiences which may also include falling in love. The idea of falling in love for the first time sure looks great to them but not all romantic relationships lead to a good ending. Some of them might go awry. A romantic relationship leading to a sad breakup can cause an extreme distress to the teens, making them feel miserable. Especially when they’re experiencing it for the first time. That is the reason why the first heartbreak remains most significant for them.
Most of the parents dread the idea of seeing their teens go through their first romantic heartbreak. They can’t seem to make their teens feel better or help them learn how to cope with it. In such stressful times, if parents can learn to help out their teens, there is a possibility of teens feeling a sense of emotional resiliency and becoming able to tolerate a heartbreak.
Here are some ways you can help your teen deal with their first heartbreak. Not all of them would be easy to approach in the beginning but you might as well give it a try.
Parents usually write off their teen’s breakup as it was some puppy love. It’s a mistake on their part to think the impact of the loss or the failed relationship is minimal. Instead of minimizing their experience, you should let your teen vent. Let them talk about it and listen to what they’re going through. It would be unwise to give them an advice in the beginning; you can try this step later. First, give them free space so they can pour their emotions out.
One of the things parents do to help teens deal with breakups is to validate their feelings. Instead of giving them statements like ‘You’ll be okay,’ or ‘You’ll meet someone better,’ which are, for the most part, not helpful at all, they can listen and empathize with their teens. You can validate their feelings and empathize with them that this is a difficult situation for them and they can get out of it.
Another thing you can do to help your teen not feel miserable post-breakup is by making them see the brighter side of it. You can make them see how a breakup can eventually help them learn about empathy, dealing with their own disappointments and the ups and downs of life. Sometimes teens become quite depressed after a breakup and can’t seem to move on in their lives. They prefer becoming isolative and lethargic. You may consider getting your teen into therapy but we would not really stress on that. If you feel you can handle your teen yourself then go for it. Give them some time so they can return to their usual mood.
One mistake parents usually make after knowing about their teens’ breakup is that they start harping on and keep pushing them to speak up everything. It’s best if you do not talk about it incessantly or force them to tell you everything. But do not avoid it either. Surely, a room for conversation should always be there but let your teen take their time. You should make yourself available for them so they can come to you and start a conversation on their own. Do not force them to talk to you if they don’t want. Similarly, do not ignore whatever they have been going through.