The Norman Transcript

November 21, 2013

Soothing heartbreak


The Norman Transcript

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.

As hard as a breakup is at any time in life, it can be used as a positive experience by reflecting and growing as a person. There will be other relationships.

Encourage your son to think about what he would do differently. Make sure he knows you support him and are there to listen whenever he needs to talk.

Q: Some of my oldest daughter’s new junior high friends appear to be a little more socially advanced. I’m concerned about the temptations she may soon be facing. As a parent, how should I approach her about this?

— Barbara, Oklahoma City

A: We have seen parents try many different ways to prevent their children from making horrible mistakes concerning dangerous behaviors. We believe having frequent conversations with your daughter about right and wrong and why certain behaviors are dangerous is a great place to start.

It’s also beneficial to share with your daughter what your hopes and expectations for her are. Being involved in the community, and especially at her school, helps you to get to know other parents and “stay in the loop.”

As always, we encourage you to be a presence in her life as long as she is living in your home. Structure and discipline are essential, even though your kids may act otherwise. This gives them their security.

Please send questions to questions.classact@gmail.com. Sally and Jeannie are certified school counselors with more than 50 years combined educational experience. The responses presented don’t necessarily reflect the views of any certain school district.

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