Watching your teen go through a rough patch in life is hard for any parent. Break-ups in particular can cause a lot of stress and if your teen is unsure of how to process their feelings, they may act out. Here are a few tips to help your child cope with a breakup:
- Never downplay your child’s emotions.
Even if it was puppy love, it was still love. Making your child feel like their feelings weren’t real will only cause them more distress. Instead, try comforting your child by articulating you know how it feels to lose someone special. Be sure to let your child know they will feel better in time.
- Talk with your child.
No matter the issue, people generally feel better after talking about their problems. Make sure you are available to talk whenever your child needs you. If you suspect that your child is going through a breakup, break the ice by asking them how the relationship is going. If your child does not wish to talk about the breakup, don’t force it. Letting your child know you’ll be available whenever they are ready is the best alternative.
- Spend more time with your child.
Spending time with your child becomes increasingly important after a breakup. Time your child would have usually spent hanging out with or talking to their significant is now free-time. Too much free-time after a breakup can be dangerous. Your child could spend their free-time dwelling on the failed relationship or browsing their ex’s social media. Getting your child outside of the house and around friends and family will help take their mind off of the breakup.
- Understand you can’t fix everything.
You can’t be the one to get your child over a breakup, they have to do it on their own. While every parent wishes they could instantly make their child’s pain go away, it is impossible and would actually be counter-productive. Your child needs to know that they can get over loses and breakups on their own.
- Give your child time to grieve.
Getting over a break-up takes time. Allow your child to gradually go through the stages of grief. Never try and rush your child through the grieving process as that will only result in regression. While grief may take your child through a whirlwind of emotions, never encourage or allow your child to speak ill of their ex— especially online. Heightened emotion may fuel them to say things they will later regret.