Her Achy-Breaky Heart

I sported the look of a completely clueless mom as my daughter came home from school one day, all giggly and excited to break the exciting news to me: one of her boy classmates just whispered in her ear that he had a crush on her!  Totally thrilling for her, but hardly so for me.   Is this what the world has come to? Preschoolers are professing their feelings to one another?

But I have to admit, I did feel a bit flattered that a guy has the hots for my babe of a daughter.   This raises a red flag too.  Although I know for a fact that my kid won’t come home from Kindergarten with a marriage proposal, I’m still a bit fearful for the future.  The reality of future heartbreak looms in the horizon.

Ah, heartbreak!  Many a sonnet has been written on this most wretched of pains.  Unless your daughter- or son- grows up to be among the lucky minority who end up marrying their first lover, he or she is bound to have his heart crushed to smithereens down the line.  When that time comes, what can we, as parents, do to help ease the burden for our most precious one?

Leave her be.  Right after a breakup, your daughter will most probably want to cry her eyes out inside her room.  Don’t force her to open up to you right away.  She will when she feels like it.  Just be sure to keep dangerous objects out of her reach.  Suicide or self-mutilation isn’t entirely out of the picture.

Don’t trivialize the situation.  Don’t even think about saying that what she’s going through is as thrilling as a theme park ride, compared to your breakup with your high school boyfriend.  Telling her that things could be worse will only intensify her pain.  She has every right to embrace her pain.  That is hers and hers alone.

Dial a friend.  Her friend, that is.  Get one of her close friends to maybe stay with her in her room, as she may feel more comfortable opening up to her- at least at the onset of the breakup.

Seeing your daughter buried deep in misery would naturally send you rushing to the pharmacy for a dose of strong tranquilizer, but this is hardly the time for you to panic.  When she hits rock bottom, she needs you to be there for her.  Just remember to take it easy with the pacifying, as she may need some breathing space.  The whole world may crumble around her, but with your steady love, she will be like Gloria Gaynor and will survive.