How to Help Teen Through Their First Breakup

How to Help Teen Through Their First Breakup

How to Help Teen Through Their First Breakup

 

Breakups are tough at any age, but the end of a relationship never feels as dramatic and shattering as when it happens in adolescence. Here are six tips for helping your teen get through their first experience with heartbreak, courtesy of Lifehacker:
  1. Before the breakup. There are a couple of things parents can do to minimize some of the damage. First, subtly limit the amount of time your child spends with their new significant other by keeping them busy with other things. Secondly, set limits on their social media use so that communication doesn’t become constant or obsessive.
  2. After the breakup, be a good listener. The best thing you can do for your child post-breakup is listen. Even if you’re dying to say something that will fix the situation, even if it kills you to stay quiet, just listen and stay calm.
  3. Don’t minimize it—and don’t make it about you. Even if you know the other kid wasn’t a good influence on yours, even if you could clearly see it was never going to work out, even if the relationship lasted all of six days—don’t minimize it. After all, don’t you remember how you felt when you broke up with your first love?
  4. Spend time with them. Help them stay busy and distracted, while also keeping yourself very clearly available to them in case there is a moment when they want or need to talk about it.
  5. Advise them (carefully). Encourage them to do more of the uplifting things they enjoyed before the relationship began, whether that’s a physical activity, listening to music or spending time with friends. Also encourage them to un-follow their ex on social media.
  6. Watch for signs they might need additional help. A break-up is a hard, sad thing to go through, but it shouldn’t be endlessly emotionally debilitating. Consider enlisting professional help for your child if the heartache lingers too long, they start to become obsessive, or there is a change in their level of functioning, such as not being able to get out of bed in the morning or finding no pleasure in activities they used to love.
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