How to Help a 15-Year-Old Girl With Boy Problems

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Watching a 15 year old you love go through a tumultuous relationship, especially if it culminates in her first breakup, can be heart-wrenching. You're likely to remember your own teenage heartbreaks, but it's important to remember this is about her, not you. According to child development experts at the Kids Health website, the input your 15 year old gets from her peers is likely to drown out her parents' advice. While it can be difficult to overcome what the boy she likes has told her about herself, your support in the midst of their issues is crucial.

  • Offer to listen whenever she needs you. The most important thing you can do is be there when she needs support. Let her vent and cry as much as necessary, give her plenty of hugs and resist the urge to butt in with advice or criticism of the boy.

  • Monitor her physical health. If she's just gone through a breakup, she might not feel like eating. Keep her favorite foods on hand and offer to take her to her favorite restaurant. Encourage her to get outdoors and exercise, even if it's just a walk around the block. Schedule a spa day for the two of you or for her and her best friend.

  • Plan a special event for her and her best female friends, whether it's a shopping trip or a sleepover. She needs to connect with other girls her own age, both to talk about her boy problems and to forget about them for a while. Give the girls space -- and maybe a little money -- to do their own thing for a day.

  • Tell her about your own experience with boys when she's ready to listen. She needs to know that it's possible to find love again after having your heart broken. Talk to her about what you wish you hadn't put up with -- for example, being pressured into sex, isolated from your friends, ignored or insulted. Explain the difference between how good boyfriends and bad boyfriends act.

  • Encourage her to express her feelings constructively. If she likes to write or play music, challenge her to put her feelings into a story or a song. If she likes to draw, give her a pad of paper and a new pen and ask her to make a self-portrait for you. She needs an outlet for her feelings beyond sitting in her room and ruminating.

  • Watch for signs of depression, anxiety and self-injury. Some crying and isolating is normal when a teenager is having boy problems, but refusing to do things she once enjoyed isn't, especially if it goes on for more than a couple of weeks. If you feel her behavior is cause for concern, offer to take her to see a counselor. Her pediatrician can recommend a child psychologist if necessary.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you suspect your daughter is being verbally or physically abused, take appropriate action. It's okay to confront the boy's parents or forbid her to see him if he's hurting her.

References

  • Photo Credit Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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