Helping your teen deal with a break-up

Parenting teens can be really hard.  Not only are there all the emotions to contend with but life does get more complicated the older you get and when you add a first love in the mix!

Most of us can remember how painfully sad we felt after our first breakup.  I know I certainly didn’t take it well and went to pieces with my mum and step-dad unhelpfully telling me it wasn’t real love and there was plenty more fish in the sea.  Looking back they were right, but it certainly doesn’t feel like that at the time as when you’re a teenager or young adult you just don’t have the life experience to know that these things happen to everyone and you can and will get through it.

So how do you help your teen deal with a breakup?

It’s really important that you listen.  The feelings they have are very real and can be all-consuming and they need time get through it and deal with the emotions they are not familiar with.  What they need now is unconditional love,  someone to talk to who will listen and respect how they feel and probably a great big hug!

If you don’t make yourself available they may put their heart in the hands of friends and sometimes that is not the best action especially these days with the explosion of social media.  I have lost count of the amount of meltdowns I have seen on Facebook and twitter by heartbroken youngsters and it is all about bashing the other party.  There is also the temptation of friends to take them out and drown their sorrows, which can lead to a whole host of other issues, although many teens can be thoughtful and supportive and will make every effort to help their friend feel better about the situation.

As a parent you can help your teen identify their feelings and help them find constructive ways to express them. Humiliation, anger, and sadness are strong emotions. Even as adults we still have trouble keeping those in check, so imagine how hard it is for an adolescent.

Sadly a break-up is something that almost everyone will have to deal with at some point and, as parents, it is so hard to not try to make everything better. It is important to let your teen work something out for themselves when pain and heartache are involved and just be supportive.

I for one will be encouraging my teen to get out and about and have fun with old and new friends, doing the things he used to enjoy pre-relationship and enjoying some time with his siblings who have the ability to give the best cuddles and make you laugh with their crazy antics!

Have you had to help your teen get through a break-up.  Do you have any advice?

22 thoughts on “Helping your teen deal with a break-up”

  1. Fabulous advice and I have all this to come. I remember not really being able to talk to my parents about this kind of thing and feel I have a really close bond with my kids. I hope they will feel able to come to me to talk. xx

  2. Such good advice and it is a tricky one as it is all too easy to dismiss their feelings as silly or unimportant as they are so young. But for them it can be a huge emotional upheaval. We have been through it a couple of times and with boys it is so hard as they don’t want to be seen as emotional upset. Communication is the key.

  3. What a fabulous post, luckily it hasn’t happened in my house yet but she’s off to Uni next year so I predicting that’s when its all going to happen. I will be here waiting as usual with a hug and a friendly ear xxx

  4. Brilliant advice. I do know several adults that still don’t know how to deal with break ups so it is great that you are being so supportive the first time this has happened. It will help him to cope better in the future too.

  5. I remember crying for weeks when a boyfriend broke up with me. It was like grief. It is such a shock to the system and adults shouldn’t trivialise it. The relationship I then had after that one, is the same one I am in 26 years later, so although adults don’t believe teen love is real, it really is, and is often all consuming. Good on you for being so understanding xx

  6. Great advice. My eldest fell out with his girlfriend of over a year last week and it was a very hard time. I allowed him to express himself but gently reminded him that she was hurting too. Thankfully they have made up now and I’m helping him to cook her a special dinner on Friday. It is certainly a rollercoater ride!

  7. Thisi. Is all years off for me yet – it sounds like a hard thing to deal with both as a parent and as the teen involved.

    I found one of my old diaries the other day, clearing out the last remaining box of two from my room at mums house; and reading the ten pages of overwhelming despair that I wrote after breaking up with my first boyfriend really made me cringe! I’ve kept it as a reminder to myself of what it was like, exactly for this situation when my own kids are old enough.

  8. Thankfully I’ve got a few years before this happens with my children. Love, especially first love, can be so consuming and a break-up can feel like the end of the world. You’ve given some good advice.

  9. Such a good post. Your poor son. I hope he gets through it soon, he’s lucky to have such a supportive family. I’m sure those of us with slightly younger kids will be taking this information on board and storing it up until it’s our turn to deal with it!


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