Adolescence is a fairly complex stage of life; it is full of new experiences that can be as exciting as they are overwhelming .
One of the great milestones of this stage of the life cycle is the arrival of the first love and, in most cases, also of the first heartbreak, as the novel by Jose Luis Martin Vigil illustrates in its title, ” first love, first pain…
And it is that in adolescence, we live with great intensity all the emotions we experience, and a large number of changes occur both physically and mentally and emotionally.
And it is precisely there where our work as parents will be to guide and accompany our children so that they can grow and develop as happy people.
“The magic of first love consists in our ignorance that it can have an end.”
How to accompany my children in their first love?
Surely you will remember the emotion of first love and all the illusion with which this stage is lived.
It is very important for our children that we accompany them on this journey of emotions and feelings, but yes, be careful not to interfere in the relationship, since at this stage they especially need their independence and feel their freedom.
So our job as parents can be to guide, give guidelines, and never limit our children in their experiences . They should also -and deserve- to learn from the perhaps not so pleasant experiences of life, don’t you think?
But then how to do it? We give you some keys to accompany them, in this case, in their first love -not heartbreak-:
Strengthens your self-esteem
One of the best things we can do for our children is to help them strengthen their self- esteem in this difficult stage for them.
You can do it, for example, by doing together, or together, things that you like, that make you enjoy, that you are good at…
This will help you not only feel better, but it will also prevent you from having relationships in which you are treated negatively, that is, from falling into so-called toxic relationships.
The importance of identifying when something is wrong
Help him identify the signs that something is wrong or that the relationship is not based on respect , so that he can realize and move away from these people.
This will not prevent you from having your heart broken at some point, but it can help you choose your romantic partners more wisely.
If your son or daughter experiences love from home , they will know what to expect and will look for people related to the feelings and treatment to which they are accustomed. Therefore, it is also important to demonstrate by example that romantic relationships (of any kind) are based on love, mutual respect and support.
Tackle the taboo subject: sexuality
For many parents it is very uncomfortable to broach the subject of sexuality, and even for some families it is a taboo subject that is not talked about.
But avoiding this topic will not prevent your son or daughter from experiencing their own sexual life.
On the contrary, what you will probably do in this case is to look for information from sources that may not be very reliable, and may even give rise to other people taking advantage of it.
It is for this reason that we must address the issue of sexuality with our children .
Do it in the most natural way possible, offer him all the necessary information and methods to take care of himself, but do not limit your conversation to this.
Also include talking about the emotional implications of sexuality and teach him about emotional responsibility.
And if you consider it, you can also request help from an expert; in fact, many workshops are held for adolescents with specialists, who address the issue of sexuality in an open and respectful manner.
Do not close yourself, meet your partner
Whether you like it or not, your child will have romantic partners and it is better that you know them. We know it can be a bit awkward to think that your little one has grown up and is already in love, but life goes on and children grow up .
Invite your partner home; it can be for a drink, to eat or simply to share. This way you will have the opportunity to meet that special person in your child’s life. Try to create a climate of trust in which you all feel comfortable, and above all, consult all this before with your son, to know how he sees it.
This “simple fact” will also help you make your child trust you and that he can and wants to tell you about anything that happens to him.
What to do with heartbreak?
How to act if your child is experiencing a love breakup (and the first!)? The truth is that, as much as you want to prevent your child from suffering , sooner or later they will experience heartbreak, and that is when, as parents, we must be there for them as their support, but without pressuring or overwhelming them.
In these cases, give him space so he can be alone if he wishes; just remind him that you’re there to talk when he wants to.
Avoid falling into clichéd phrases like ‘you’re going to get over it’, ‘you’re too young, there will be more love affairs’ and things like that. Remember that when we experience that first heartbreak, it feels like the end, and like no one in the world has ever experienced this before.
Respect these emotions, validate them and listen to them . It will be good for your child to take them out, transit them and express them as he feels.
Definitely; allow him to feel, to give room to his emotions, to cry and get rid of that pain and then, with a lot of love, maybe you can help him to get out little by little, to recover and move on .
“You never forget your first love, no matter how badly it ended.”
We know how complicated it can be to go through adolescence, not only for your children, but also for you as a father or mother. Trust yourself, your instincts and that you are doing a good job.
Take care of accompanying them always from the deepest love and above all, be very patient and try to remember how complex it was to be a teenager.