Is your teenager in-love? Here is our complete guide to help them and parents navigate all the questions around that first romance!
What happens when a teenager falls in love? 🤔
👉 Burst Of Emotions
Romantic love is first felt during adolescence. ❤️
Like with anything new, especially emotions, for teengers love feels life changing. Sexual and emotional attraction combined gives rise to feelings of both passion and confusion. 🤯
As it is far more intense than the stabilizing love they share with friends and family.
👉 Desperate Attachment
Like with adults, a new love, in the beginning, feels all-consuming. You want to spend all your free time with this new person, hear from them when you aren’t together and they are always on your mind! Unlike adults, teenagers carry on with this all-consuming dynamic for far longer than a few weeks. 💏
For them compared to the newness of romantic love everything else can seem unimportant.
“There can be a sense of a desperate attachment — so the joy of having each other is coupled with the fear of losing each other,” writes Dr. Carl Pickhardt in his article – “When young people fall in love, what have they fallen into?”.
👉 Highly Sensitive
We are most sensitive to the ones we love deeply. For teens as their romantic interest suddenly clouds all other relationships, they become highly sensitive to each other.
Which means they register and react to the most subtle actions from their partners and are also easily hurt. 😕
As Dr. Carl Pickhardt mentions in the same article, these “are conflicts of a painful kind as they [teenagers] wrestle with issues of freedom and possessiveness, honesty and deception, trust and jealousy, togetherness and separateness, satisfaction and sacrifice.”
What do you do when your teenager falls in love? 🤔
👉 Accept Their Relationship
It can be unsettling for parents to see their teens overwhelmed by the emotions of romantic love. It’s natural to even fear that your teen’s romantic interest might not be right for them. Yet the intensity of students’ attraction will only gain fuel if forbidden.
If parents accept the relationship, students will most likely share their feelings and even seek advice from them regarding their romantic relationship.
Parents can also gain influence on taboos like sexual activity and ensure that students are safe and consensual about it. ✊
Ways parents can show their acceptance is by letting the couple spend time at their home when adults are present, offering to drop them home if they’ve spent a late evening together and empathising with any problems they might face in their relationship.
👉 Appreciate The Positives
Handling a teenager in love is no joy ride! Between parental apprehension and students’ own mood swings it can be quite a handful! 🤯
Though what might help parents be more stress-free themselves is appreciating the positive effects of love on students.
❇️ To spend meaningful time together, the couple is most likely to stay out of wild high school experiences like indulging in drugs, alcohol or casual sex.
How can I help my teen with heartbreak? 🤔
In his article “When young people fall in love, what have they fallen into?”,
Dr. Carl Pickhardt writes that “the majority of dating adolescents in high school do not fall in love.” His long years of counselling have shown Pickhardt that this experience is reserved for an estimated guess of “no more than about 15 percent” of teenagers in-love.
Which means your teenager is most likely to experience heartbreak. So, this is how you can help them.
👉 Be Mindful
The emotions that ensue after a breakup for teenagers is as intense as falling-in love. For many of them they are feeling abandoned, betrayed and rejected by a romantic interest for the first time. So it would be a parenting mistake to dismiss it.
👉 Listen & Empathise
It’s distressing to see your teen in agony over a broken heart. It’s tempting to try and fix the situation. Yet this might only make them feel worse.
As with adults a breakup requires time to heal. ⏰
Parents don’t always need to have the right thing to say. Just listen to your teen when they want to share the sorrows of their heart and offer empathetic responses for their comfort.
👉 Support The Healing Process
❇️ Encourage students to talk to their friends about their feelings. This will strengthen those relationships and help them not feel unbearably lonely.
❇️ Heartbreak can feel like our world has fallen apart and we have no control on putting it back together. Making students establish a routine can help them feel a bit more grounded.
❇️ Encourage students to practice self-care like meditation or treating themselves with some pizza. This will make them realise they independently have the power of making themselves happy!
❇️ Initiate conversations around the ‘time taken to heal’, ‘love will always come again’, ‘being single does not mean being alone’, when students are ready to take a step-back from the situation and rationalise it.
❇️ If parents notice that students are not making healing progress after a break-up or getting depressively worse, they must encourage students to seek professional counselling.
At GoStudent we want to give students complete academic support so parents can have the time to manage students’ interpersonal relationships. Book a trial lesson with one of our tutors here! 🚀