Adolescence is the stage of life that includes the moment in which our body begins to develop at puberty until its culmination with the beginning of adulthood. If we think of a teenager, the first thing that comes to mind is a lot of hormones hovering around our child. Deep down, we are not very far from reality because hormones play a key role in adolescence and are partly responsible for their emotional ups and downs .
We have all been teenagers and we know that at those ages the feelings are on the surface. It is a very delicate stage because psychologically they are still children but in an almost adult body. It is the stage of experimenting, gaining independence, living the first romances and having fun with friends. At those ages, adolescents (or at least the vast majority) believe that they are going to eat the world and that nothing bad will ever happen to them, that only happens to other people. Unfortunately we know that this is not the case, but they do not. For this reason, when they strike against reality, the pain is much greater.
HOW CAN WE HELP OUR SON AFTER A BREAK WITH THE COUPLE?
We have to be realistic, as parents we can do little. Right now the greatest source of support to overcome adolescent pain is friends . Most will not even want to discuss the issue with parents, they will avoid them or simply deny that something is wrong, although we will know that it is not. Others, however, may confide their feelings to one of the parents. This occurs most often in a mother-daughter relationship.
In any case, we cannot expect to change the situation much either, our advice will be half listened to and will tend to pay more attention to friends, even if what they are told is nothing new and we have already told them a thousand times. A typical example: a couple leaves and one of the members is having a very bad time (“I’m going to be alone for the rest of my life!”), The father encourages him by saying that there are many fish in the sea and that You will soon find someone who loves you more and treats you better. The result? In the best of cases, the adolescent will only half believe his words (“of course! What are you going to tell me? If you are my father!”). They believe that parents are not objective for not hurting them, and deep down they are right, we would never say anything that would make them suffer or if we do we will try to “make up” a bit of reality.
With this we do not say that there is nothing we can do to help them in a breakup, of course there is! We parents can do a lot! But we should not expect miracles from one day to the next, it is a slow process that will depend on how your child is personality, the social environment in which he moves, his emotional maturity and above all his self-esteem.
1. DON’T PRESSURE HIM
Even if you see that your child has been locked in the room for days and does not want to talk to anyone, do not overwhelm him. Give him some time to get over the pain. He has to go through a period of mourning, he thinks that adolescents experience emotions with greater intensity . Just tell him that he can count on you for anything and that you want to help him in any way you can. Nothing more. If you try to get the words out with a corkscrew it will only close more in band.
2. JUST LISTEN TO HIM
If your son trusts you enough, he will end up coming to your side to tell you what happened. At that time you must listen to him without judging, right now he needs to vent not a person who reproaches him, judges him or tells him what to do. Do you really need a “I already told you”, “is a profiteer!” or “better alone than in bad company”? Just listen to him, hug him and be by his side , remind him that you will always be there and never tell him what to do unless he expressly asks you to do so.
Finally, if “the fault” was his / her, do not tell him what he did wrong, you will only ensure that in the future he will not tell you anything again because he will know that your first reaction will be to criticize her or her ex-partner.
3. HELP HIM GAIN CONFIDENCE
After a break the self – esteem of the person falls on the floor , especially if it was the couple who took the first step to breaking. If that is the case with your child, you have to remind him how much he is worth and encourage him to dedicate more time to himself. For example, you can tell him that all that time he spent with his partner is now dedicated to being with friends, to resume his hobbies now that he is freer, to focus more on the things he likes, etc.
Also reinforce him every little bit , it is not that you are all day behind giving him compliments but one or two a day in a subtle way never hurts. If he has stopped getting ready, propose a change of style, in the cut, hairstyle, clothes … Or much better, ask him for advice! Tell him that you want to buy something you need and that he / she as is more up to date can help you (some shoes, a skirt, a camera, a computer …). Make him feel useful, let him see that you value his advice.
4. HELP HIM FOCUS ON THE PRESENT AND FUTURE
We all know that turning around the past only makes us suffer more. Let him know that you understand that he is feeling bad, that it is totally normal and that you are going to give him time, but that you are going to be there whenever he needs it, giving him unconditional support, and do not bring him up the topic of conversation again unless let your child do it! Instead of that, propose new plans for the weekends (how about a pajama party with friends?) Or be a little more flexible with the schedules back home , at this time it is preferable not to spend a lot of time alone to avoid pain.
5. WHAT IF THEY GET BACK TOGETHER?
Your girlfriend has treated you badly, we know that it does not suit you and that they will leave you again in the future. However, our daughter / or does not see it that way and bets on a second chance. In these cases we can do absolutely nothing, just observe from afar and pray that the future blow is not too serious. Telling him not to come back or that he is doing wrong is a desperate measure that will take our daughter / or away from us , because in the event that our son lasts, he will throw it in our face, and if they leave him again they will not ask us for help for fear of that we reproach it.
Finally, a lot of encouragement and patience to all parents who are going through such a situation. See it as an opportunity to practice empathy and put yourself in your child’s shoes, think about what you would have liked your parents to tell you about.