You don’t have to be a child or a teenage to struggle with dealing with heartbreak. Most of us have memories of crying-on-the-floor type situations as a result of breakups, unrequited love and the likes. But when we see our precious little ones go through it, it pulls at our heart strings in an arguably even more challenging way.
“Heartbreak whether in children or adults is a slow and painful process and often adults skim over or try to get kids to move on from the heartbreak because they are uncomfortable seeing their child hurting,” says San Francisco-based licensed marriage and family therapist, Andrea Dindinger. “However, rather than dismissing the issue, there are a few ways parents can help their child deal with the situation so they can be better prepared if they find themselves in a similar situation in the future.”
Keep reading for Dindinger’s tips for helping our kids navigate the woes of heartbreak.
“Really listen to you child as they talk about their heartbreak. Whether it’s a teen romance that’s ended, the loss of anyone or anything, listening with your whole heart to what your child is saying and what’s not being said. You don’t have to say much, just listen and empathize with their pain.”
“Don’t try to fix it. Heartbreak is not something to fix, it is part of life and part of the maturing process. And heartbreak can’t be fixed, and when kids see adults trying to fix their hurt, it makes them end up feeling like there’s something wrong with them, instead of it being a normal part of life.
“Trust that they will recover from this pain. Modeling for children that you have trust and faith that they will get through this, gives them confidence that they too can survive this heartbreak.”