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November 21, 2013

Soothing heartbreak

NORMAN — Q: My tenth-grade son has been a happy, well-rounded boy until recently. The “love of his life” just ended their yearlong relationship. He feels rejected, disappointed and broken-hearted. This is definitely affecting his attitude toward school because they arranged to be in several of the same classes. Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

— Lucy, Moore

Dear Lucy, It is so difficult for parents to watch their child experience their first heartbreak. You have our empathy. The first thought that comes to mind is not to discount his feelings. By this, we mean not to say things like “this was just puppy love” or “you’ll get over it,” etc. His feelings are real to him.

Luckily for your son, the semester is almost over. He should visit his counselor, explain the situation and request a schedule change for the spring semester.

The more time he has to just sit around and think about it prolongs the agony. You can help by coming up with distractors, such as family activities.

Science suggests that music releases endorphins that can lift his spirits. Make sure it’s not the sad, lovesick songs, but encourage him to listen to songs that make him feel happy.

It will be difficult for him to see pictures on social media that reflect happier times. This may not be the best time for him to camp out on these sites, looking at these photos and checking to see what she’s doing.

Remind him the purpose of dating is to take bits and pieces of each relationship to find the one person who has the qualities he desires.

Helping others — showing love and kindness — is a great way to shift the focus away from your own troubles. Even caring for a pet is a great way to achieve this.

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