While ending a relationship is difficult no matter how old you are, this is even more difficult as a teenager. Teenagers can react very negatively to a breakup. Like her parent, you want to help your daughter get through this situation. Talk to her and, without judgment, allow her to express her feelings. Throughout the weeks, give her emotional support, encourage her to get out of the house, and tell her to be hopeful for the future. For any special circumstance such as depression or abuse, seek appropriate professional help.
Part 1 of 3: Letting Your Daughter Speak
Step 1. Listen without giving advice
When your daughter is going through a difficult breakup, the last thing she wants is advice. You must give him space to vent and express what he feels. If you tell him what to do or how he should feel, he will no longer want to talk to you about how he feels.
- Refrain from thinking about what to say to your daughter while she is talking. Sometimes there are no appropriate words for these kinds of situations. Focus more on listening to her than on mentally planning your responses.
- To keep the conversation going, repeat what she said or ask her to clarify some points instead of giving your point of view. For example, you could say something like, "So your boyfriend broke up with you for no reason. How did you feel?"
Step 2. Don't minimize your daughter's feelings
Most people go through difficult breakups at some point in their life and end up getting over them. On the other hand, it would be wrong to tell her that when she is angry, as she will think that you do not value her feelings. Let him feel what he feels, even if it is intense or exaggerated feelings.
- Keep listening to her and let her vent. Don't try to force her to feel better.
- You may be tempted to say something like, "You will see that you will feel better next year." Even if that's true, it won't make your daughter feel better in the moment. You want to make sure she knows that you support her and care about her right then and there. It's best to tell her what you think when she's calmer.
Step 3. Let your daughter cry
Never tell him that he shouldn't do it or that it's not worth it. Crying helps stabilize feelings and help you vent, especially after a difficult breakup. Tell your daughter to cry if she needs to. You could also say something like, "It's okay if you cry. I'm not going to judge you."
Step 4. Strive to remain neutral
Even if your daughter's boyfriend or girlfriend doesn't like you, avoid saying so. Relationships are often unpredictable as a teenager. Your daughter could go back to that person or she could still have feelings for her. Therefore, you should avoid judging. Even if this person does not treat them well, do not favor anyone, as this could be counterproductive.
- You want to make your daughter feel comfortable talking about her romantic relationships, especially when she is young. If you criticize her ex and they get back together in the future, she won't talk to you again if problems arise.
- If your daughter says something negative about her ex, don't respond in the same way. Instead, say something like "It's normal to feel angry after a breakup."
Part 2 of 3: Support You
Step 1. Let your daughter know that she can talk to you when she needs to
Leaving that possibility open is vital as time passes. After the breakup and your first chat with her, tell her that you will always be there to listen to her. He may need to talk to you a bit in the next few months, so say something like, "If you ever need to talk more about this, just let me know."
Step 2. Talk about your own romantic relationships
After your daughter has blown it off, she'll want to hear what your perspective is on the situation. At this point, you can tell him a little about your own relationships. This will help her see that it is normal for people to end a relationship and that it is something that can be overcome.
- Tell her about a situation similar to the one she is going through. Almost everyone has gone through difficult breakups in their love life, so feel free to share your experiences.
- Telling her about your experiences will also strengthen the intimacy between you and her. By having a close and intimate bond, your relationship will remain strong in the face of future difficult times.
Step 3. Encourage her to have hope for the future
Once your daughter has calmed down enough to listen to opinions, give her hope. Remind him that things get better with time. However, do it in a way where you don't overshadow what she is feeling at the moment.
- Don't say something like "I went through the same thing when I was your age and now I don't even think about it anymore. You're going to be fine."
- Instead, acknowledge what he's feeling and then give him hope. For example, you could say something like "I know it hurts a lot right now, but remember that sooner or later it will pass. I went through a similar situation. You will see that you will have better relationships."
Step 4. Encourage her to go about her daily activities
Your daughter will want to lock herself in her room for a couple of days. It is normal to want to be alone after a breakup. On the other hand, don't let it take too long. Speak lovingly to her, encouraging her to continue with her daily activities and to continue seeing her friends. This will help you heal the pain.
- You can offer him permission to invite his friends. Making your home available to her and her friends will motivate her to be more sociable.
- You can also motivate her to keep doing what she likes. If she likes to sew, buy her some fabrics from a sewing supply store. If you like to hike, schedule a family hike.
Part 3 of 3: Dealing with Specific Circumstances
Step 1. Pay attention to signs that your daughter needs extra help
It's normal to be sad after a breakup. However, very rarely, a breakup can lead to feelings of depression. See if your daughter's reaction is unusual. Perhaps she needs the help of a therapist.
- If your daughter is still feeling very sad after a couple of weeks, it is recommended that she see a therapist. Also, if he has lost interest in his activities, if he is still crying a lot, and if he continues to isolate himself, contact a therapist.
- The help of a therapist will also be necessary if your daughter begins self-harm, drug use, and alcohol abuse after a difficult breakup.
Step 2. Advise him on how he should behave when he is online
Now that we are in the age of the internet, many teens vent about their ex online. If you see that your daughter has been posting things about her ex, especially very embarrassing things, be direct and talk to her about how she should behave online.
- Advise him to take it easy on his online postings. Remind him that sharing personal information there could affect him in the future. For example, you could tell him to take a break from technology until he has calmed down.
- Remind her that talking nasty things about her ex could make her look bad. Encourage her to talk to trusted friends and family rather than writing such hype online.
Step 3. Keep your emotions in check
When your daughter is feeling sad, it is normal for you to feel that way too. Nobody likes to see that their daughter is in pain and is heartbroken. However, keep your emotions in check when talking to her. You want to make sure you don't worry her more the moment you try to help her.
If you need to talk to someone, tell your partner or a trusted friend how you feel. Unburdening yourself will help you keep your emotions in check and stay strong for your daughter
Step 4. Seek help if your daughter has been in an abusive relationship
Whether the abuse was physical or psychological, she will need therapy to recover. Crisis centers and teen helplines will help you deal with the situation. You will also need to find a regular therapist for your daughter. Regular therapy sessions will help you cope with and overcome the emotions that your abusive relationship has generated.
- If you need immediate help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
- You can also call the LoveIsRespect.org line, which focuses on abusive teen relationships. The number is 1-866-331-9474.
- Make sure she knows that you care what happens. It is a sensitive subject, so you should show her at all times that you care and that you understand her.
- Get your daughter to talk to people who have been through the same thing. Let him know that he is not the only person who has been through difficult times.