Love is full of its ups and downs and there is no way of avoiding love throughout life's beautiful journey. It can present itself when we are children, teenagers, middle-age, and when we are in our 60's. There is no age limit on love.
The beautiful thing about love is that it can brighten your world and make you feel absolutely amazing. The downside is when that great feeling of 'love' comes to an end. For those young and old, a broken heart can be devastating. It is a part of life and it's many experiences, and all of us will experience the loss of love at one time or another. Whether it's losing an important friendship or a crush, it's hard for children to understand.
How can we help our children survive a broken heart? How can we help them heal after their crush has been in fact "crushed?" Let's start with a few helpful tips on how we can help our children get through the hardships of love and friendship with a little more ease.
Expression is Key
Let your child express how they feel even if they need to vent, scream into a pillow or cry. A broken heart can only truly heal when all the pain and heartbreak has left the body and mind. Let your child know that you are there to listen. Avoid trying to fix the situation or trying to make them happy with gifts or treats. Let them feel their feelings and just be there for a hug.
Journalling and Art Therapy
One way to heal through a broken heart is to journal or express our pain and loss through art. Younger children may find it helpful to paint or draw when they feel hurt, while older kids and teenagers may find journalling therapeutic. Offer your older child a challenge by asking them to keep their pen on the page for 10 minutes. Ask them to write about anything that is bothering them. Amazing things can happen and the healing process can begin.
Keep them Occupied
A great way for children and older kids to heal after their heart has been broken is to keep them active - preferably outdoors. While they may still feel pain and need to work through it, being surrounded by others and participating in sports and adventures outside will help them move on with more ease. A broken heart can stop anyone in their tracks and keep them from living in the moment, so it is best to keep moving.
Tell them the Truth
Kids, small and tall, value the truth. It is very important for parents to be honest with their kids about love. Tell them how you can relate by sharing some of your broken heart experiences. Mention to them that even though they cannot see it now and things may feel hopeless, this moment will pass, and they will feel whole again. Reassure them that time is what heals and that they will recover through this difficult period in their lives.
How do you help your children survive a broken heart? We would love to hear about your experiences!