Your teen just had her heart broken for the first time, and you can’t decide whether to do quiet happy dances in your head because that guy is finally out of her life (and yours!) for good, or to feel sorry for her because you remember your first heartbreak. You know she’ll get over it, and you know he wasn’t good enough for her and never would be, but you can’t tell her to suck it up and move on. You have to be there for her to help her through her first heartbreak, even if you don’t feel sorry and you want to do happy dances when she’s not looking.
Understand First Love
First love is something special. Even if it’s not all that serious in your mind, it is in your teen’s mind. She’s devastated, and this is likely going to be the worst breakup she ever encounters. Understand this and you’ll be able to help her fare through this storm far better than you imagined. You just have to understand that this is different.
You need to give your teen some space. She can’t have you in her face always trying to talk to her and be in her business. It’s going to make her want to push you away. Give her some space, but let her know you’re there for her. Wait for her to be ready to talk to you. Don’t push and don’t hover.
Don’t Mock Her
Do not refer to her first breakup as her “little broken heart” or her “little breakup,” or anything else that seems derogatory or mean. Don’t tease her or make fun or her or let her hear you talking about her situation with your friends or her grandparents. Make sure she knows that you’re there for her by taking her seriously and not making light of her situation.
She does not need to hear that’s she’s too young for a boyfriend or that you told her so or that he wasn’t good enough. She needs to hear your support and sympathy, not your criticism or lectures. Don’t lecture her on anything, but lend a shoulder for her to cry on or an ear for her to talk to.
Keep Life Normal
Give her some time to sulk and be unhappy, but don’t let her take too much time. Make sure her life stays as normal as possible because that’s what’s going to help her recover and get back to normal. She needs her family structure more now than ever before. Let her be sad, but don’t let it consume her life.
Give Her Hope
Now might be a good time for you to tell your teen about your first breakup. It might be a good time for you to relive the moment you were sure was the worst one you’ve ever encountered. She’ll see that you’re happily married, or happily on your own and taking care of your life in a happy manner and understand that it does get better. Just make sure she understands that while you were sad, you did get over it – just don’t use those words!
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