It’s normal to experience the pain of enduring a broken heart after a first love or unrequited crush. When your child is experiencing their first heartache, it’s important to be supportive and provide comfort. Your child might not want to open up to you about the problem, but simply letting them know that you are there if they want to talk is a huge first step that is essential to the support they need.
Talk to Them About your Own Heartache
To open up the channels of communication, you might want to talk with them about your own first heartache. Let your child know all about the feelings that you had at the time and how you thought you would never get over it, but in time, you did. By opening up to your child, they will likely feel more comfortable telling you about their own heartache. You will be able to assure your child that everyone goes through the same thing and that it isn’t the end of the world. Sure, it’s going to hurt for a while, maybe a long while, but as time passes those feelings of pain will eventually dull and fade away.
Help Distract Them From the Pain
If you have a son, he may find that it is more difficult for him to open up to you about his feelings and to admit his pain. Heartache happens to both boys and girls though, so don’t think that just because your son is tight-lipped about it that he isn’t hurting. Boys often have a more difficult time expressing their true feelings, so if he needs space, try being supportive by taking him out to play some sports or to the movies, anything that will get his mind off the pain. Or buy him a used guitar and encourage him to take guitar lessons to express his feelings through music. Some of the world’s best songs are written about broken hearts, after all!
You don’t have to play the relationship counselor, you just have to be your child’s friend. Being supportive doesn’t always mean having to talk to the person. Simply helping your child to distract themselves from their misery until the worst of it passes can sometimes be enough.
Point Out Open Doors of Opportunity
Let your child know that this heartbreak simply gives them a fresh new opportunity to meet other people. Breakups and rejections are a learning process that prepares a person for the next relationship. It teaches them what they do and don’t want in the other person and in the relationship. They may not want to hear it now, when in the full throes of heartache, but they will later come to realize that their pain was only temporary, and that by staring too long at one closed door, them may have missed a better door opening elsewhere.