The end of a relationship is always hard but seeing your child go through a break-up brings a new kind of emotional turmoil that is unfamiliar to new parents. You want to protect your son or daughter, want to relieve the pain you know they’re going through, and would do anything to make them smile but you are probably met with resistance and malaise.
While it is important to remember that break-ups are a part of life and that it’s appropriate for your children to grieve the loss of a relationship, there are some things you can do to ease your child’s transition back into single life.Talk (But Not Too Much).
Though your child will likely be standoffish it is important for them to express their feelings and experience of the situation. Recall the days of your early relationships and when those relationships ended. You were despondent, felt alienated and alone but still wanted to talk.
You might be last on the list of people your son or daughter will want to talk to but you will have wisdom and perspective that his or her friends don’t have, and
it’s important that you share it.
Here are some suggestions for opening a dialogue with them:
- Remind them of how strong, valuable, and precious they are.
- Avoid saying derogatory things about their significant other. Though they may be hurt, usually teenagers don’t want to linger on the negative qualities of their ex.
- Softly suggest that life will go on, and that God has a plan for their life.
- Be a shoulder to cry on when they don’t want to talk.
The most common response to a break-up is inertia. To some extent this is unavoidable but if your child hasn’t recovered after a day or so try to gently push them to be social, interact with friends and family and participate in life again. As a parent you have unique insight into your child’s interests and hobbies and you have the singular ability to make your child smile in spite of his or her sadness. Use this to their advantage.
Here are some suggestions for encouraging activity:
- Have friends visit and offer to pay for dinner or a movie for them, so they can get out into the world again.
- Take your son or daughter somewhere you know they enjoy, such as a park or museum.
- Exercise is great, so offer to exercise with your child.
Give it to God.
During a break-up, teenagers will be spiritually vulnerable. It is important that they don’t lose sight of what is most important in this life over losing a young crush.
To help in this, suggest particular verses that are applicable, and make sure to remind them that, though it is painful and difficult to see, God has a plan for them, and when the time comes He will put the right person in their lives.
As your child grows, he or she will mature and will be able to appreciate your help. If you walk with them during the hard times, and teach them to lean on God, not only will you see them through to a more positive perspective, you will always teach them healthy spiritual practices.
Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to her email address:
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