Child

How to: Dealing with your child's first heartbreak

Warnings

Even if advising, recommending and guiding are all part of the parent’s job, it can lead you to a dangerous path on your “comforting mission”. Mrs. Belhumeur gave us this warning: “The most important thing to do is to listen. We can give our advice afterwards but there is a red light: if your child doesn’t react like you expected, if he protests, for example, then stop, say you’re sorry and keep on listening…”

Besides, the psychologist recommends keeping your old troubles to yourself. This is no time to project your own experiences on your child by thinking, “I don’t want my child to suffer like I did”.

When the pain doesn’t go away

Just like in a grief process, shock, anger, sadness and acceptation arise after heartbreak.

If your child doesn’t seem to have finished mourning after two or three weeks, you could consider the next step of intervention: outside help. You could ask an uncle, an aunt, a neighbour that your child trusts or professional help, like a psychologist.

The most important thing to remember, though, is not to rush the healing process. Every child needs their own time to grieve and should be able to grieve any way they feel the need to. Eventually, they will start feelilng better and just like their old selves again. Time heals all wounds— or most of them!

Image de Josée Descôteaux

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