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Heartbreak is such a painful part of life. At the same time, it’s completely universal. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t had their heartbroken.
It’s a pang that can bring adults to their knees, so you can bet that kids who’ve just gotten into dating are extremely vulnerable to it.
Many parents will have their hands full when a boy breaks their daughter’s heart, but they should take the opportunity to have important discussions.
Tell her you’ll always be there to help her up. If you guide your little girl through the turmoil, she’ll believe her self-worth isn’t determined by others.
We can all appreciate that growth comes from experience, and breakups are just another spoke in that wheel.
Just recently my step-daughter came to me asking for advice about a boy who had broken her heart.
She felt embarrassed, hurt, and didn’t want to talk to her mom about it, plus asked me not to tell her dad!
This tells me just how much pain she was in. She’s normally an open book!
I didn’t completely know how to handle the situation if I’m being honest.
But I thought back on my first heartbreak and what I wish someone had told me.
From a young age, I had the wrong idea about relationships and breakups and I wanted her to not make the same mistakes I had.
Before we even get into the list of what to say when a boy breaks your daughters heart, the most important message she needs to receive is that her self worth is intrinsic.
That means it isn’t determined by her clothes, looks, weight, and especially not by some boy.
This is a message we need to be hammering into our kids from an early age.
It isn’t easy to do, but repeating to them that they are worthy! is important beyond belief.
I also want to say that if your teen is struggling significantly, you can use services like Teen Counseling by BetterHelp. This service will match a therapist who specializes in teenagers and help them navigate these difficult times from an impartial point of view.
My step-daughter trusted me with this difficult conversation but she didn’t want her dad or mom to know at the time. We’ve had a lot of ‘off-the-record’ talks throughout the years and it makes me very grateful to be here for her.
However, I’m also aware some children don’t feel comfortable going to their parents with some of these topics.
All teens can benefit from having a professional counselor at their fingertips to discuss issues such as coping skills, anxiety, stress, self-esteem, depression, bullying, anger, eating disorders or any other mental challenges. I highly recommend giving BetterHelp a try!
Helping Your Teen Through Her First Heartbreak
Let Her Feel Her Feelings, But Give Perspective
Of course, broaching this sensitive topic is easier said than done, so keep in mind what you shouldn’t do.
If your daughter is facing an emotional meltdown after a breakup, there’s a parental impulse to get mad at the perpetrator.
To say how horrible he is and how he doesn’t deserve her.
But encouraging these bad feelings of how terrible this boy is will only prolong healing.
Tell her that her feelings are valid and give her a shoulder to cry on. But also give her some perspective on the situation, when and if she’s ready to listen.
She’s just starting out, so there will be many more relationships, each ending in a different way.
Get her to think about what she looks for in a partner, and where she thought her recent relationship was going.
Realizing that it wouldn’t have lasted will help her recover.
It’s also very important to teach our daughters that anyone who doesn’t want us, isn’t the right person for us!
Your ‘perfect match’ will want to be with you, he won’t be hurting and breaking up with you.
That in itself is an important lesson many people never learn. So many people pine for unrequited love or an ex. But it’s only the right match if they are choosing you. Over and over again.
It’s About Recovery, Not Revenge
Parents should teach kids that feelings of revenge aren’t appropriate and actually make healing and moving on unlikely.
At school, peers might pressure your daughter to get back at the boy somehow.
Or she may want to ‘hook up’ with someone to make him jealous.
That could lead to her getting into arguments, avoiding people who know him, and far worse.
Even if it was a messy breakup, even if he was a bad boyfriend, it’s not healthy to feed that sense of aggrievement.
Condemn it without hesitation, because she needs to emerge strong from each breakup.
Taking the high road is always the best option. Negative attention is still attention. If she really wants to ‘get back at him,’ the best revenge is moving on with her life peacefully.
Remember you cannot protect her from getting hurt, but you can teach her to believe in herself.
She can learn that a relationship with a boy is not her whole world and that she can draw strength from her friends, family, and self.
Tell Her What Stable Relationships Are Made Of
Life is not all about romance, but it’s easy for even adults to forget that.
It seems silly, looking back on it. Kids can get really caught up trying to impress others, searching for that special someone.
Romance is a commitment that takes a lot of time and care, which many young people don’t quite understand.
For your daughter to build self-esteem, she has to be honest about how she interacts with people.
Is she focused on being a good friend, or is she worried about what boys think of her?
Can she have lasting friendships with boys, or is she just looking for another boyfriend?
It can’t be overstated that stable relationships help form the bedrock in a young person’s life.
Your daughter won’t get that if all she thinks about is dating.
She cannot go through life hanging on the words of young men, hoping she’s found love and freaking out when it doesn’t work.
Romance, while not bad, is something that should complement her life, not consume it.
Teach Her How To Live A Complete Life
In the fallout of a breakup, it can be hard to move on.
Plans are canceled, routines are disrupted, and relationships with others become awkward.
Your daughter’s identity may feel changed, and she’ll face indecision about her next steps.
No one should be arguing that it’s all easy, but people learn to bounce back.
Parents should emphasize that there’s no need to panic because she’s more than just one relationship.
That brings up larger questions of what your girl wants out of life and who she wants to be.
The boy who broke her heart can’t have been the only thing meaningful to her. Sometimes to recover from emotional stress we have to throw ourselves into other aspects of our lives.
That could involve spending more time on a neglected hobby or practicing a little more self-care.
Let your daughter know she should remember the things that make her happy. Having ambitions and setting goals certainly help in the long run.
Accomplishing things and having an overall plan will make her a more complete person, developing her confidence outside her love life.
That’s a good way to learn and evolve, allowing her to navigate the dating scene with tenacity.
Encourage Mutual Healing As A Way To Move On Guilt-Free
It’s necessary to keep in mind that human relationships ensure meaning in our lives. When kids are hurt they may retreat into their shells and neglect people.
Your daughter can’t afford to be so damaged by every break-up.
To live life fully, she’ll have to process this kind of pain. What’s easy to neglect is the role of empathy and understanding.
She’ll need to decide if she wants to be friends with her ex-boyfriend.
She should consider what negative emotions he’s dealt with since they broke up.
It’s possible he regrets what he said or did, and that could be resolved with more conversations between them.
Doing so will stop them from looking back in anger.
It can be easy to dismiss good memories as being tainted somehow when those experiences can actually be strengthening.
It’s better to reminisce on the good times than dwell on what didn’t work.
The bottom line…
The bottom line is that there are no guarantees in life.
Your daughter will fall in and out of love, she’ll break hearts and have hers broken. Even if she knows this in advance, life will throw her curveballs.
With a can-do attitude and people she can trust, she can always get back in the game. Since you love your daughter it’ll be hard to watch her get hurt on the winding road of life.
But don’t be a helicopter parent.
You can get used to her facing pain, and get used to her coming back from it. That’s how kids grow up and find themselves through the chaos.
It all sounds scary, but if you give your daughter the right set of skills, she’ll figure it out.
Everyone has to learn not to run away from life’s challenges but to run at them
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