When your teen gets broken up with

Michael Riera, PhD Author & Speaker, shares advice for parents of teenagers on the best methods for helping and supporting your teen after break-up or hearbreak
How to Support Your Teenager After A Break-Up
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When your teen gets broken up with

When teenagers have their hearts broken, it's really problematic for the parents because it breaks our heart right along with them. There is a part of us that wants to go to the person that broke their hearts and shake them and and say, "What are you missing here? This is the best person you have in your life." That's not going to help anything. What they need during these moments is our support, the belief that they are going to get through, and our understanding that they are probably going to regress in certain ways. Ideally, we want them to regress at home. "I was going to go out with friends, but I don't really feel like it. I'll go out for a little while." They might come home early and go back out. This is when you want to offer them some choices. "Let's get a movie. Let's get some popcorn." Before you know it, you may have your 17 year old son leaning against you with a blanket, snuggling like when he was 12 years old; and he hasn't done that in years. When they regress, they come back to us. They don't need lots of words. They just need that physical support, the sense that they are going to get through it and know that it's going to take time. One thing that I would caution parents against is patronizing our kids by just saying, "That's your first love. Everyone goes through it." That doesn't help them at all. The reality is that they are really hurting. We want to acknowledge that and say, "I know this is really hard, but it will get better with time. There is no rush." They need to see us express in our words and our actions. This is one of those times that you cancel your plans just to be around with them. They notice that, and that makes a difference with them.

Michael Riera, PhD Author & Speaker, shares advice for parents of teenagers on the best methods for helping and supporting your teen after break-up or hearbreak


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Michael Riera, PhD

Head Of School, Brentwood School

Michael Riera, PhD, Educator, Author, Media Personality, and Speaker. Michael Riera is the Head of School at the Brentwood School, best-selling author, award-winning columnist, educator, television commentator, and national speaker on issues of children, adolescents, families, and parenting. Mike is the author of Right From Wrong: instilling a Sense of integrity in Our Children, Field Guide to the American Teenager, Uncommon Sense For Parents With Teenagers, and Surviving High School. His most recent book, Staying Connected To Your Teenager, was launched with three appearances on Oprah! For eight years he was the Family Consultant for CBS The Saturday Morning Early Show and also hosted an award winning television show on the Oxygen Network, Life in Progress, as well as his own daily radio show, Family Talk with Dr. Mike. Mike has worked in schools for over 20 years as a head of school, counselor, dean of students, teacher and consultant. 

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