It’s your teen’s first break up!! Here we go....the anger, depression, the crying....oh if they only knew right? Well....depending on how you handle the situation can either gear them up for success of failure. Think back to when you were young and all in love....DEEP in your feelings and he or she broke up with you. Remember how the sky fell, all plant life died and you hated everyone? Well.....the same thing is happening to your teen!
Here are some ways to help you help them through the process:
• Give them time and space
Hate to be cliché-ish but it is true; time does heal all wounds and more than likely in about a week or so things will hopefully be back to normal. Just like when we as adults go through, we have to let time in and work through the pain on a daily, weekly sometimes work in 10 minute intervals…..but it works!
• Actively listen
Just like when you are going through, you need someone to actively listen. This is the time where you put on your “counselor” hat and listen in close. For a few reasons, first and foremost as their parent you want to make sure that this relationship isn’t having your teen in suicidal mode or wanting to hurt someone physically over the situation. Look for signs of deep depression. If you have a question, ask them and really make sure they are mentally okay. Some teens can really go off the deep end and we are none the wiser.
• Model appropriate break up behavior
Now if you are currently in a relationship or married, this may or may not apply to you but if you consider the context when you are in a disagreement with your significant other, then you want to be aware of what you are displaying to your teen. Remember the saying: “Do as I say, not as I do”? Well the exact opposite applies to kids/teens as they are growing up. They watch EVERYTHING, from what perfume, cologne to how we drive in traffic and they mimic those things. So the next time you break up with someone, or are in the middle of an argument be cognizant how your own personal behavior is towards rejection. Trust you will see this in your offspring later on.
We all know break ups are never easy…why because there are feelings involved and as humans we make adjustments to each situation. So as you are raising your Teen/Young adult, keep these things in mind and trust it will be a lot smoother than in the past dealings.