It is hard for a parent to protect his child from pain as they become a teenager. They are now surrounded by many people who will possibly bring emotional turmoil and complexity to their life. Gone are the days where the parents’ primary concerns are few scrapes and scratches from rough play in the park or scarcity of play dolls and stuff toys. Dealing with teenagers who are in-love requires a different set of parenting skills.
“The first heartbreak can leave deeper scars than the next ones.” says Chantal Belhumeur, a psychologist.
Teenage love can be exhilarating and one of a kind for your teenager but it can be a new hell for the parents, most especially if you have a daughter. Parents can be judgmental when it comes to their child’s first love, but statistics are actually in the parental corner. Early relationships rarely lead to a happy ever after and with the emotional immaturity of young couples, it will likely result in breakups.
“Your teen might not only lose their relationship but also lose a big part of their social life, friends, activities, and even their identity. Break ups can affect people for months. But as parents, there are things we can do — based on the latest research in this area — to help our teens heal their broken hearts.” says Guy Winch. Ph.D..
While it is innate for parents to shield and protect their child from any horrors and painful realities of life, it will be better for your child in the long term by allowing them to discern choices and making decisions for themselves. However, as a parent, you can always give advice, tips and share your experiences about these teenage issues by giving them insight into the possibility to stir them towards a good choice. Also, do not leave your child to fend and heal his broken hearts in solitary or find solace in substance abuse and bad influenced friends.
The following are the basic things that a parent needs to remember if their teen experienced separation or recently ended romantic relationships.
First Love Feels Different
Parents might shrug off the reaction of their teenage to a break up as something overly dramatic straight out from the novels or cliché me against the world love story. It is essential to remember, or probably it would be beneficial to reminisce about your first heartbreak and how cringe-worthy your reaction might be. “I tell teens they are allowed to have a pity party, but, eventually, they have to move forward.” says Jennifer Powell-Lunder Psy.D. Share your funny or ridiculous first love separation with him providing him the assurance that what he is feeling is completely fine and healthy.
Find The Middle Ground
Do not over-empathize your child’s painful experience because it can be counterproductive, especially when she will look back on this relationship from a middle ground of her own. Being someone to lean on, your child will be comforted by you especially in the first days of the breakup when he feels her whole world is shaken. Listen and provide comfort without contradicting the teenager’s feelings.
Let Your Teen Know You’re There For Him
Inquire about his significant other and their relationship status, especially if you feel something is out of place by doing so, it can help break the ice if there is something to discuss. Having open communication with your teen is paramount because it is needed for growing a lasting relationship.
Allocate enough time for mourning or grieving. It is, after all, a loss of something important to him. Give ample space and provide a reassuring presence on the sidelines.
It is essential to ensure your teen the basic needs because activities of daily living might be neglected. Find leeway in his responsibilities and allow him to slack off in household chores for the time being. Give it about three weeks but make sure not to give extra benefits and too much leeway because the situation might be taken advantage of.