Teenage Heartbreak

Teenage Heartbreak

Take a stroll down memory lane and think back to your first love — Remember all the warm feelings and excitement surrounding this new person in your life. Then after several months, several years, or even several weeks you two break-up and sudden doom has surrounded your heart.

As an adult, it is easy for us to disregard teen love or even forget our first love/heartbreak experience. We may deem the teenage love as puppy love, infatuation, and lust.  And it may very well be these things. However, it is well known that teenage heartbreak is a significant precipitator to suicidal thoughts. It is important to not ignore or belittle the disappointment our teens may be experiencing.  For this time in their life, these feelings are very real and intense.  So although wisdom and experience has afforded us the knowledge that the heart is resilient, will heal and there is “plenty of fish in the sea”, teens do not have this foreknowledge.  It may be condescending to a teen to say, “cheer up!” or “it’s not that bad!”  Acknowledge their pain and sadness. If appropriate, share your story about your first love and heartbreak and how you battled the feelings of sadness.  Don’t use this break-up as an opportunity to rag on their ex and declare you never liked them anyway. Be a good listener.  Encourage them to spend time with friends and family. If the heartbreak persists or increases, seek professional help!

 

Raising Awareness: Digital Abuse

digital abuse

digital abuse

When thinking of abuse in relationships the obvious forms of physical and verbal abuse are typically considered.  However in our information age driven by technology, digital abuse is a real issue.  Digital abuse is really emotional and verbal abuse perpetrated through technological means including the internet.

 It is particularly important for parents and teens to be aware of the various forms of digital abuse because it can easily be overlooked.  Check this list below of various ways digital abuse can occur.

     -Coercing partner to send sexual images or statements via phone

     -Putting partner down on social media through posts or status updates

     -Posting private pictures of partner online, particularly without consent

     -Controlling who partner can have as friends on social media

     -Sending hurtful or threatening messages through text, IM, Facebook, and other forms of media

     -Spreading rumors or gossip about partner online

     -Forcing partner to provide passwords to phone and social media accounts

     -Stalking partner through social media sites, insisting on check ins online through twitter etc…

     -Becoming angry when partner does not answer phone or respond to posts

     -Sharing messages partner sent without consent

     -Constantly texting, calling, posting etc… to keep tabs on partner

If you believe that you or someone you know may be experiencing digital abuse please seek help.  You have a right to privacy and to have your boundaries respected in a relationship.  You can seek help by contacting the counselors here at Family First or find local help in your area by visiting loveisrespect.org.