my teenager is going through his first breakup, how can I help him?


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Breakups can hurt, they happen at any age. A teenager can live it badly, as he can recover easily. There is no specific way to deal with it, contrary to what some parents think. Margot Fried-Filliozat, sex therapist, gives us her advice to best support her child in this ordeal.

Ah summer, the sun, the beach, teenagers and lovers… Often, on vacation, the period is conducive to doing new meetings. We make friends, we flirt and we also build relationships. love stories. Like their parents at their age, teenagers also go through this stage. They know this feeling of love, the one that surprises you, that comes all of a sudden and that makes you feel an all-consuming passion that grips you from all sides. Said like that, it makes you want to, but also comes the fateful moment of goodbyes and that of breaking. Some parents may feel helpless when they see their teenager going through a breakup. They then set out to do everything to help them overcome this ordeal. But are they right? Margot Fried-Filliozat, sex therapist and author of the book Sexperienceenlightens us.

We have to stop trying to help him, to get him to get over his breakup. On the contrary, we must allow him to experience his emotions. Many parents will try to reassure their teen by saying ‘it’s not that bad’, ‘you’ll meet others’, ‘you’re so young’ etc. The teenager, on hearing that, feels misunderstood as much as possible. He feels like he has no right to suffer. Reassuring someone, in almost all situations, makes them worse than anything else.”

Things not to do if your teen is going through a breakup

Unfortunately, breakups are a part of life. You can’t stop your child from having feelings. And that is precisely whyit is important not to minimize how he feels. “Even if for us it seems disproportionate. Let’s remember that in adolescence, we too parents went through this, we experienced very intense relationships”details the expert.

The pain of a breakup is also real. “Today, we know that breakups and emotional pain cause physical pain in the brain. And even more in adolescence, when at this time all our senses and our emotional world are hyperactive. So it’s just physiological and totally normal for a teenager to have such a strong emotional response after a breakup. They are still in the midst of brain maturation.”says the sex therapist. So don’t worry if your teen cries or feels sad, it is even rather understandable. And if he’s not crying, that’s not a bad sign. Not everyone has to go through a breakup badly.

Moreover, when a teenager has a holiday crush, it’s not just a simple love. “It’s also the moment when he says to himself: ‘I exist in the eyes of someone else, I have value’. This person comes to fulfill this fundamental relational need which is to have value. in the eyes of our peers, not just our parents, but our equals. Love is the ultimate validation of belonging to someone. That’s also what they lose when they break up, this reassurance.” Parents must therefore measure everything that their child is losing with this breakup, in order to then better support them.

thanks to Margot Fried-Filliozat for his valuable advice. If you want to know more, his book Sexperience answers the questions that teenagers ask themselves, and those that they should ask themselves.

Since September 2021, Lisa has joined the Aufeminin team. Little by little she specialized in subjects related to parenthood. Curious and passionate about writing, she likes to tell …

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