A breakup is difficult at any age, but for teenagers it can almost be the end of the world. To make matters worse, most teenagers break up in public (in front of other schoolmates, on social media), which can end up involving gossip, rumors and lies. Do you have a daughter that age who just broke up? You can help her get over her broken heart. Talk to her and let her express her feelings without judging her. Provide emotional support in the weeks ahead by encouraging her to leave the house and telling her that she has a lot of life ahead of her. If there are special circumstances, such as depression or abuse, seek expert help.
Part 1 of 3: Letting Your Daughter Speak
Step 1. listen what she has to say without giving advice right away.
When a person is shaken trying to process what happened, the last thing they want to hear is advice. Give your daughter room to vent and open up. When you go out talking about how she should act or feel, maybe the girl closes off and doesn't want to share anything with you.
- While she's talking, don't think about the right answer. Sometimes, there is no “right thing” to say in these situations. Rather focus your attention on what she says than plan an answer in your head.
- To support the dialogue, repeat what she said and ask for clarification rather than offering your point of view. For example: "So you were caught off guard because your boyfriend broke up out of nowhere?"
Step 2. Don't minimize the girl's feelings
At some point in life, everyone goes through a difficult breakup and then moves on, but it's no use telling your daughter that while she's still upset. The girl might think you don't take her feelings seriously. Let her express herself in her own way, even if it sounds exaggerated or too intense.
- Just listen to it and give it room to open up. Don't try to force her to feel better.
- You may feel like saying, "A year from now, you won't even remember him." Even though that phrase has a hint of truth, it doesn't help your daughter right now. The best thing to do is show the girl that you are on her side and that you care. Later, when she calms down a bit, point out that there are other ways to look at the situation.
Step 3. Let her cry
Never forbid your daughter from crying or belittle her tears. Crying helps process emotions and can be a very cathartic time, especially after a difficult breakup. Encourage her to cry if she needs to by saying, "It's okay to cry, honey. I won't judge you."
Step 4. Make an effort to remain neutral
Even if you don't like your daughter's boyfriend or girlfriend any more, keep that information to yourself. In adolescence, relationships are often unpredictable, meaning your daughter may end up getting back together with that person or she may continue to like her. That way, choose not to judge. Do not take sides at this point, even if the person has acted in a questionable way. The shot could backfire.
- The goal is for your daughter to feel comfortable talking about relationships with you, especially when she's young, right? If you criticize the ex and they come back, the girl will no longer turn to you when there are problems in the future.
- If she speaks ill of the ex, don't feed that negativity. Prefer to say, "It's normal to be angry after a breakup."
Part 2 of 3: Offering a Shoulder
Step 1. Make it clear that you are open to future conversations
This step is critical. After the initial scare and the first conversation, tell them you're always there to talk whenever your daughter wants to. She'll probably need to talk about it for a few more months, so say, "If you need to talk more about it, just let me know."
Step 2. Talk about your affective past
After the girl gets over her initial sadness, she may want other insights into the situation. At this point, you can talk about your dates, helping her understand that breakups happen and that people are capable of getting over them.
- Try to find a similar story. Almost everyone has gone through difficult relationship ends. Don't be shy about sharing your story with the girl.
- This opening deepens the bonds and intimacy with the girl. Having a closer relationship can be very good if there are difficulties in the future, strengthening both sides.
Step 3. Give her hope
When the girl is calm and can see the whole thing through new eyes, talk about her future hopefully: remind her that everything gets better with time. However, be careful not to underestimate what she is feeling right now.
- Don't say, "I went through the same thing when I was your age and now I don't even think about it anymore. You'll be fine."
- Prefer to acknowledge and validate what she feels and still give hope, for example: "I know it hurts a lot now, but remember that nothing lasts forever. I had a similar experience, but then I found other better relationships."
Step 4. Don't let your daughter stop doing activities
Maybe she wants to be locked in her room for a few days. It's okay to want to isolate yourself a little after a breakup, but don't let that isolation linger too long. If she continues to dwell on the relationship and its demise, over time she may develop other problems, such as depression. Encourage her to continue the routine and see friends, which helps to heal the wound.
- It's okay to take a break from her routine activities for a while, but know that she should get back to her hobbies, sports, and normal life soon. When busy, the girl has less time to brood over obsessive thoughts about the relationship and is able to better understand that life goes on.
- How about proposing a meeting of friends at your house? If the doors of your house are open to her friends, your daughter may be more willing to socialize.
- Help her maintain her hobbies and activities. If the girl likes to sew, for example, buy new fabrics or help her start a different project. If she loves to spend time outdoors, schedule a family trail.
Part 3 of 3: Dealing with Specific Circumstances
Step 1. Watch for signs that your teenager needs help
It's normal to be sad about the end of a relationship and not a few teenagers go into deep depression with the end of short romantic relationships. Look for signs that your daughter's reaction is abnormal or prolonged. She might need therapy.
- Therapy is indicated when extreme sadness lasts for weeks or months and when the person loses interest in activities, cries all the time, and continues to withdraw.
- Also, get help if the girl gets hurt or uses drugs after you break up.
Step 2. Give guidance on internet behavior
In the internet age, many teenagers end up venting about their ex-boyfriends online. If you find this to be your daughter's case, especially if she posts embarrassing things about both of you, have a frank conversation about appropriate behavior on social media.
- Tell her to go easy on the posts, explaining how this sharing of personal issues could affect her in the future. Suggest that she take a break from the technology until she gets better.
- She must understand that badmouthing her ex can burn her image. Encourage her to open up to close friends and trusted family members rather than speaking out on the internet.
Step 3. Understand your own emotions
When a child is sad, it's normal for the parents to be upset too. No one likes to see their child in pain, but try to control your emotions when talking to the girl. You don't want to worry her by trying to help, do you?
If you need to talk to someone, open your heart with your spouse or a close friend. Letting off steam is good for regaining control of your emotions and strengthening yourself to help your daughter
Step 4. Seek help if the teenager's relationship was abusive
If dating was physically or psychologically abusive, the girl may need therapy to recover. Look for a psychologist who specializes in teenagers. Regular therapy sessions help your daughter process emotions related to abusive relationships.
- In some cases, it may be necessary to file a police report at a Women's Police Station.
- Look for materials about abusive relationships between teenagers on the internet.
- Show that you care. This subject is very sensitive, so always show love and understanding.
- Suggest that your daughter talks to other people who have gone through this phase so that she understands that she is not alone in this phase.