Going through a break up is an unpleasant experience. I am sure most, if not all. experienced it at least once in the past. My first marriage was not successful and I was more than relieved when the father of my children left. I was alone in my task of raising three kids. I stood firm and moved on. I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this article if I did not pull myself out of the rut I was in.
Strong momma. That’s what my friends have always known me to be.
I am a mother of three, a daughter and two sons. My daughter is married and has a son. I would say that she found herself a good husband. However, it is a different story with my two sons. They have been in and out of failed relationships. I’ve seen how they’ve had their hearts broken. I’ve seen their tears, their frustration, and the loss of self-esteem.
I’ve seen them through their pain, and it hurts me so much to see them suffer.
If your child is going through a break up, how would you handle it? Here are some tips a strong momma should do:
1. Stop the blame.
Do not find fault in either your child or his/her girlfriend/boyfriend. Remember that before the break-up, they were so much in love with each other. Bad-mouthing the other party will only bring more pain.
2. Let the feelings flow.
Crying does not make your son less of a man. The same goes with your daughter. Crying will allow them to let go of the pain.
Be the person willing to listen to what they have to say, no matter how senseless it may seem. Teens and young adults going through a break up tend to talk about the issue incessantly and they need someone to listen. Be there when they need to talk. Hold their hand and hug them. Be understanding when they don’t feel like talking yet. Always reassure them of your love.
4. Exercise and Endorphins
If you child enjoyed sports before the break up, encourage them to get back on track. Better yet, plan a family activity – hiking, a trip to the beach, even riding the bike a few times around the block. Exercise can stimulate the brain to release endorphins, also known as the “feel-good” hormone. An increased level of endorphins in the blood can lessen the physical manifestations of pain and therefore, your child will be able to manage stress better.
5. Prepare his/hers favorite healthy meals
Exposure to stress can give rise to poor eating habits, which in turn may give rise to disturbances in the body’s function. Make sure he/she follows a regular eating schedule. Treat him/her to their “comfort food” - a bowl of chicken soup, a cup of hot cocoa, their favorite casserole or pasta dish.
6. Let them get enough sleep
Make your child realize that staying up will not change the situation there are in. A good night’s sleep will help repair the body, and make their thought process function better. When my child suffered his first break up and had trouble sleeping, I made him do this simple trick to fall asleep. I told him to lay on his back, arms on his side and legs straight. I told him to imagine that he is a sandbag and that the tips of his fingers and toes have little holes in them and the sand slowly escapes through those holes. I told him to concentrate and imagine that the sand slowly escaping represents all the hurt and pain he is feeling. It worked wonders for him.
7. Be Positive
Be the "C" mom he/she expects you to be - cool, calm, collected. Remind him/her that everything happens for a reason, and that is what they need to find out. Encourage them to meet new people. Help them regain their confidence in themselves. Let them know that jumping into another relationship, just to spite their ex is not a good move. Let them heal their wounds first, pick up the broken pieces and be whole once more. The best advice I got from my parents was "Love yourself first. When you learn to do this, you will be able to love others." I use the same advice for my children, and I usually tweak it with, "Someone on this earth was born for you to love and love you back. Find that person. Be happy."
I know raising kids is not an easy task. Just take a step or two back and look at the issue from a wider perspective. Count to 10. Breathe. Relax.
Trust God. Everything will be fine.