When your son or daughter comes home with their first broken heart it can be a difficult situation. You may want to roll your eyes at their overdramatic musings of, “He was the love of my life” or “I’ll never be happy with anyone but her for the rest of my life”, but you can’t. As a parent it is your job to inwardly judge their teen angst while outwardly providing a listening ear and a sympathetic expression. Judge their tattoo wearing boyfriend or their peppy obnoxious ex without letting them know you’re happier than a woman with a new diamond. Go ahead and revel in your (silent) excitement and practice easing your teen’s first heartbreak with this advice.
Your kids are more likely to come to you with their problems when they know you will support them in their emotions (jump for joy after bed, mom). Even if you are desperately uncomfortable having such a personal conversation with your child, you need to refrain from showing it. Your actions send signals to your children about your comfort, and if you have brushed them off in the past regarding personal issues, they may not come to you.
Never Utter the Words I Told You So
You did, and you both know it. Leave it at that. Your child will feel betrayed and angry at hearing this term, which could drive them into a deeper feeling of depression. Additionally, it could entice them to accept an apology from their ex that they may not have originally accepted, just to prove you wrong. And we all know you don’t want that.
Ask What You Can Do
Your teen may want to be alone. They may want your company. They may want a distraction. Whatever it is, do your best to respect that wish. Make a special dinner, run out for their favorite DVD or ask them if they want to go to a movie with you. Don’t be offended if they decline.
Wait it Out
Don’t start sharing stories of your own personal teen angst or trying to set them up with someone new. Just let them work it out while being there for them. The best thing about teenage heartbreak is that they get over it pretty quickly.