Be Supportive and Available Throughout the Breakup
Every teen is different when it comes to their first breakup. Some would need you to be proactive and offer advice, while others would like you to give them space. Regardless of the approach, however, it’s crucial to let your teen know you are there for them. If they need a shoulder to cry on, you will be there. When they just want to talk or share the silence with you, you will be there. Make sure they know that.
Help Them Validate Their Feelings
One of the hardest parts about dealing with a breakup is knowing that you’re not alone in it. By sharing stories of your own heartbreaks with your teen, you can help them feel validated in their feelings. What this does is it solidifies for them that it’s okay to feel upset, sad, hurt, agitated, and all those other emotions that are going through them.
Being open about your own experience may feel uncomfortable at first, but it’s a key element in making your kid feel safe to reciprocate that openness and let you in. It will make you more relatable, and it can really help strengthen your bond. Even if you don’t have a similar experience to share with your teen, just being there to listen, nod along, and offer a warm hug is enough.
Check-In and Listen
Going through a breakup, no matter if it’s the first or tenth, is a process. The first few weeks are the hardest and it’s important to often check in with your teen and focus on listening as opposed to giving advice. They might repeat the same things over and over again, but that’s just part of the healing process. Your persistent support is the best thing you can offer to anyone going through heartbreak, and that is especially true when it comes to your kids. You are their stronghold and seemingly small things like being there to listen will eventually amount to the big thing — a heart that is healing.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to breakups, it’s your job as a parent to reassure your kids that you love and support them, and they will never be truly alone because they have you. While your teen will probably prefer to confide in their friends — showing that you’re always there for them is a major step to helping them heal and learn from this experience.