How do I help my child with a break-up

Best-Selling Author John Gray, PhD, shares advice for parents on the best methods for helping and supporting your child through their first break-up and heartbreak
How To Help Your Child Through A Break-Up
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How do I help my child with a break-up

So once your children start dating, you know they are going to have a heartbreak. And the most important thing we can do as parents is not try to minimize it, not try to ridicule it because it is sort of like a south of the border TV show drama. I mean I can remember crying on the phone to my girlfriend. We were breaking up and it was back and forth, this huge dramatic thing. And it would have been terrible if somebody had minimized me for it. And if you have good communication with your children, which I had with my children, is I made it safe for them just to pour their hearts out and continue to validate and don´t minimize by simply saying you will find somebody better, you deserve somebody better than that person. If they are hurting, take the time to listen. And one of the most important listening skills is to validate an emotion. So I feel like nobody will ever love me. I feel like nobody will ever care about me. Then, you help the child find the emotion because it is the emotions that heal the wound, not talking about the problem. So if they feel like I don´t feel like anybody loves me, I will never be loved again, he doesn´t care about me, or she doesn´t want me, I want to do. These kids have these dramatic feelings. At that time, identify the emotion like I know that must make you so sad, you are sad because she didn´t call back or he didn´t do this. Give a few bits of information to validate why they feel sad and then create I am sure you are feeling some fear or concerned it will never happen again. Try to label the emotion that goes with their expression of feelings because they will be saying things like I feel like and then you help to fill in the blank. Where they say I feel like, it is really an emotion that´s wanting to come up to be heard so as parents, our job isn´t to talk them out of their emotions. Our job is to help them understand what emotions are there. And by helping to identify them and being with them, and the model is this: Someone is bed. Imagine someone in a hospital room. They are all by themselves all day long. They so much appreciate it if you come in and sit with them. Maybe put your hand on their hand. And they will be appreciative about that. I remember one woman saying to a man who came to her in her bed when she was, to sit there while she sick. And he said but I couldn´t do anything. She said yes, but you came. The most important thing is that we just bring our presence and our attention to our children as if and we all have been through heartbreak, we know what it is like. You don´t have to fix it but you can hear it, and they have a chance to move through those feelings and come back to the positive feelings again. And they will.
TEEN, Social Life, Dating

Best-Selling Author John Gray, PhD, shares advice for parents on the best methods for helping and supporting your child through their first break-up and heartbreak


Expert Bio

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John Gray, PhD

Best-Selling Author

John Gray is the leading relationship expert in the world. His relationship and health books have sold over 50 million copies in 50 different languages. His groundbreaking book, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, is the best-selling non-fiction book of all time.

John helps men and women better understand and respect their differences in both personal and professional relationships. His approach combines specific communication techniques with healthy, nutritional choices that create the brain and body chemistry for lasting health, happiness and romance. His many books, videos, workshops and seminars provide practical insights to effectively manage stress and improve relationships at all stages of life and love.

John also travels the world teaching communities and companies the best ways to improve their relationships and communication. He has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show many times as well as The Dr. Oz Show, The Today Show, CBS Morning Show, Good Morning America, The Early Show, The View, and many others. He has been profiled in Time, Forbes, USA Today and People.

John Gray lives in Northern California with his wife of 29 years, Bonnie. They have three grown daughters and four grandchildren. He is an avid follower of his own health and relationship advice.

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