Can you help your child survive a heartbreak to avoid extreme steps?

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20-year-old late actress Tunisha Sharma’s mother is pleading for strict punishment for her alleged boyfriend Sheezan Khan who ‘cheated her after promising marriage,’ which she is convinced led to her suicide. While Sheezan has been booked for abetment to suicide under IPC 1860, it has made a lot of parents of young girls and boys reflect upon ways they can probably strengthen them to cope with heart break.
Regardless of the protective bubble that we build around our kids to protect them from hurt, they will continue to face it in some way or the other. And the only way forward is to make them realize that where there is love, there will be loss, where there is friendship, there will be betrayal, where there is success, there will be failures.

As a mother of a pre teen, I know when it happens to my daughter, I will be willing to annihilate the whole world. But I will have no option but to silence the burning desire to burn the one who inflicted mental harm to my child. It’s my duty to instead tell my child that there will always be struggles. She will have to know that it’s not the last time someone broke her heart, intentionally or unintentionally, she has to feel the pain and learn to move on. Her crushes will not like her back. She might endure a breakup that might feel like the end of the world.
Now if your child is a teen at the time of their first breakup/heartache, it will be tougher as they tend to feel everything in the most intense manner. It will be hard for them to stay objective. But here is what parents can do. A lot of this I write from my own experience:

Before you get down to addressing the issue, you have to understand that it is your child’s problem and not yours. You are there only to support them through it, not to solve it for them.

Don’t start telling your breakup tales or tell them it’s normal at this age! It might help when they ache less but remember when their heart is hurting, they don’t want to listen, they want to be heard. Do not undermine their pain.

They might want to spend more time alone and allow them to do that. They should know you are available to talk whenever they feel like it.

Educate them that it’s not right for them to slam their exes on social media. They might not be very proud of it later.

Help them with coping mechanisms. Make them play sports they love, encourage them to journal and give them hope!

They should not believe that if they were ‘better’ in the way they looked, they spoke, this would not have happened. Hence, it is important to learn to have intentional grieving. They should accept how they are feeling and center their recovery on themselves.

However, if your child takes longer than 2 weeks to begin healing from the pain, you might consider taking an expert’s help.

No matter how much you try to tell your child about the right and wrong, things will happen inevitably. When it happens, just offer them love and support. It may not take the pain away, but it does help.

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