How to Help Your Child Overcome Their First Heartbreak?

Your teenager's first heartbreak can be painful. So, if you want to know how you can help them, don't miss the following article.
How to Help Your Child Overcome Their First Heartbreak?
Mara Amor López

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Mara Amor López.

Written by Mara Amor López

Last update: 16 December, 2022

Adolescence is also the beginning of romantic relationships for many teenagers and, with them, their first heartbreak. When this happens, it seems like the end of the world for boys and girls. They’re in tears, sad, and don’t even want to go to school. It’s important that you accompany them at that moment and help them to overcome this situation, showing your support and without reproach.

We have to take into account that teenage love is lived with intensity, and so are breakups. It hurts them and they think they will never be able to get over it, they lack the experience that an adult has, that everything eventually gets over. That’s where they need the help of their parents to get over them and get out of the sadness in which they’re immersed at the moment. We’re going to give you some tips so you can help your child to overcome their first heartbreak.

Your child’s first love and first heartbreak

The first courtships in boys and girls usually appear during adolescence; the physical and hormonal changes that appear at this stage make them begin to be interested in these matters. It’s clear that the first relationships between young people may arise earlier or later, depending on education, personality, personal characteristics, etc.

Many of these relationships don’t go beyond flirtation or a brief period of time, while others may be more intense and deep and adolescents are truly in love. The point is that, whether it has been a long or short relationship for your child, it may have meant a lot, so the breakup leads them to experience great sadness and disinterest in general.

Tips to help your child overcome their first heartbreak

A romantic breakup involves a grieving process that can be more or less intense, but you have to go through it to overcome it. In this process, it’s normal for discomfort, nostalgia, sadness, and even hostility to appear in the adolescent. Therefore, here are some tips that can help your child to overcome the breakup.

A mother talking to her teen daughter while holding her hands and looking at her eye to eye.

Talk to them and listen to them

If after the breakup, they come and tell you what happened and how they feel, you should be attentive to their words. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by anything else at that moment, like your cell phone, cooking, phone calls, etc. If they come looking for you to tell you about their problem, it’s because they trust you; if you don’t pay attention to them, they’ll lose their trust in you and won’t turn to you again. Be careful with this. It’s essential to practice active listening with your child on all issues to strengthen your communication.

Put yourself in their shoes

Don’t say phrases like “it’s not that bad”, “you only went out for a short time”, etc. This is your child’s first heartbreak and it’s painful for them. Put yourself in their place and understand how they feel and how you felt when you were their age and had your first heartbreak.

Support them, don’t burden them

What your child needs most at this moment they’re going through is your support and understanding. Give them your support, offer advice to them if they ask for it, don’t impose it on them, and be sure not to pressure them to tell you what has happened. If they need and want to, they’ll tell you, so don’t burden him.

Suggest activities that distract them and help them overcome this situation

Don’t let him stay at home all day crying in bed, as this will make it much more complicated for them to overcome the breakup. Help them to find activities that help distract them, such as going out with their friends, going on family outings, etc. Anything that will help them divert their attention from the moment they’re going through.

Let them cry if they need to

If your child needs to cry, let them do it. Allow them to go through those days of grief. This is the way to overcome it. Right now, the emotion that dominates is sadness and they have the right to express it with tears, just as they’re allowed to laugh when they’re happy. Let them spend a few days accepting and getting used to the idea of this new situation, but only a few days. It’s not good for it to go on forever.

Explain to them that now it would be good to get away from their ex

To turn the page and forget someone, it’s necessary to get away from that person for a while. If their ex is from your group of friends or high school, it will be more complicated to distance themself, but they can stop following them on social networks or not talk to them. At least for a while, until the pain they feel has subsided and they’re ready to move on.

A teenage girl leaning on an outdoor railing, looking upset.

Talk to your child about the fact that a breakup isn’t the end

Teenagers live everything with a lot of intensity, the first love, the first heartbreak… That’s why, when they go through their first breakup, they think that it’s all over, that they will never find love again, etc. That’s what parents are there for, to explain to them that we have all gone through this situation and we have all overcome it. You have to move on, new people will come into your life, who may be the beginning of something better.

Do not criticize or speak ill of your ex-partner.

Seeing your child suffer may bring out your deepest protective instinct and you may not be able to avoid talking badly about the ex. However, you should avoid this, it will make him/her feel worse and more resentful.

Seek professional help if necessary

If all the above tips don’t work and your child continues to suffer and feel bad, the best thing to do is to take them to a psychologist. This will help them sort out their mind and provide them with the tools they need to overcome this breakup and those they may have in the future.

On how to overcome a child’s first heartbreak

The first heartbreak during adolescence can be a great pain for the adolescent. The parents’ job is to accompany and support their child in this situation of intense emotions so that they can overcome it. Our objective must be to help our children to face their grief, go through the phases of it, and come to accept the loss. Let them see that we’ve all gone through this pain at some point, but that we’ve overcome it and found love again.

If more than six months have passed and your child’s pain and suffering still linger, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional to help them grieve properly.

“No matter how hard the experience has been, no matter how costly the mistake has been, it’s always possible to start over”

-Jorge Bucay-.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Estrella, R. N. (2009). El concepto del amor en adolescentes dominicanos. Caribbean Studies, 155-166.
  • Calatayud Arenes, M. P., & Serra Desfilis, E. (2002). Las relaciones de amor en los adolescentes de hoy. Las relaciones de amor en los adolescentes de hoy., 0-0.
  • Bisquert-Bover, M., Giménez-García, C., Gil-Juliá, B., Martínez-Gómez, N., & Gil-Llario, M. D. (2019). Mitos del amor romántico y autoestima en adolescentes. Revista INFAD de Psicología. International Journal of Developmental and Educational Psychology., 5(1), 507-518.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.