/ Dealing with a heartbroken daughter

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
WaterMonkey 13 Jan 2020

Any tips on dealing with a heartbroken 17 year old daughter?

Her boyfriend of 2 years finished with her last night. I gave her a hug and she had a good cry on my shoulder last night but i'm not sure what else i can do to help her.

She's very upset and currently doing a few early A level exams. 
I don't want to give her the whole, you've got your whole life ahead of you yet speech because at the moment I doubt that would help.

Any tips on how to handle it? It's breaking my heart seeing her so upset.

Mike505 13 Jan 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

Distraction may be the best bet. Maybe an activity that requires a lot of focus, consumes a lot of spare time and be something she can obsess about?

Unfortunately nothing comes to mind ;)

It's always hard learning to process new emotions/situations, time is probably the best bet, it's just something she has to learn to handle and deal with in her way.

I hope she gets back to her usual self before long.

WaterMonkey 13 Jan 2020
In reply to Mike505:

Thanks,

Funnily enough my other daughter has just started working at a newly opened Chimera climbing wall so we may have to go and have a play at the weekend.

I'm hoping that her A levels will distract her enough but by all accounts today's exam went badly. It's only her first year of A levels so hopefully time to heal and bag some better grades.

dgp 13 Jan 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

Been through that ! Very easy to say the wrong thing but very difficult to know what is right. Be supportive and accept the intensity of her feelings which time will heal. No easy answer I'm afraid.

cpowell 13 Jan 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

Being a 33 year old bloke with no children take this advice with a pinch of salt, but I am a school teacher who has done a healthly amount of training on mental well-being. This is clearly a low point for your daughter and all the guidance I have had says steer away from trying to offer practical advice, like the 'whole world ahead' speech (the problem is its rubbish now).
 

The best thing I have ever heard said was the line: 'Crumbs, I don't know how to make this better, but thank goodness you've told me and I'm here for you.' If you have any stories about how you had heartache, and how it was crap, to show how you have shared experiences are also useful, but avoid the whole 'I know how you feel' cliché.

Also make sure you set aside some time for her as she now will have more time and as mentioned above distractions with friends and family are good. Hopefully her friends will be acting to keep her busy too.

druridge 13 Jan 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

She's lucky to have someone who cares.

Distraction therapy is a good suggestion in the short term; otherwise you move on to the 'as one door closes, another one opens' stuff

Best of luck

Xharlie 13 Jan 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

Give her an outlet for the emotions and then do nothing at all. Be there, listen, enable her expression of her feelings -- that's enough.

(My wife is currently job hunting. And for the first time, since she's just submitted her PhD thesis and this will be her first REAL job outside of academia. I'm getting a LOT of practice at these skills. Different, but the same, really.)

Xharlie 13 Jan 2020
In reply to druridge:

> Distraction therapy ...

I don't really like that term, to be honest.

I understand the concept: for example, climbing (or any super physical sport, really) is a pretty good outlet for anger and rage but that's not really distraction. On the other hand, "distraction" could mean a lot of very harmful and negative things: drinking, binge, drugs, retail-therapy, reckless and irresponsible hedonistic outbursts that will later be regretted, etc.

I prefer to say that one should have a sink for the feelings and emotions rather than "distractions" because I feel that that encompasses only the former type of distraction. But I'd be the first to admit that a better term could be more helpful -- just not "distraction therapy"

1
abr1966 13 Jan 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

Lots of TLC.....just be around when she's at home, tell her you love her and it will get better, cook her favourite meals, take her out on short day to day jobs like going to the supermarket, plenty of fresh air, give her more hugs than usual.....not a lot you can do directly to help as her mates will be better at that but just be her dad and tell her she's lovely!

Deadeye 13 Jan 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

Time and quiet support.

It's just something she will have to process in her own way 

We've all been there.

So, nothing much for now beyond big hugs.

Leave it a week, let her grieve. Then maybe a duvet night, romcom film, big cathartic cry, and gently move in.

Don't demonise him. Don't rush her grief. Don't jolly her along. She'll get there

Post edited at 17:21
WaterMonkey 13 Jan 2020
In reply to All:

Thanks everyone, some good advice there. 
 

Our dog is helping massively too, a big bouncy golden retriever, it is hard to stay sad when he’s around!

DerwentDiluted 13 Jan 2020
In reply to Deadeye:

> Leave it a week, let her grieve. Then maybe a duvet night, romcom film, big cathartic cry, and gently move in.

Gently move on?

Toby_W 13 Jan 2020
In reply to DerwentDiluted:

Gently move on?

You know, burn his house down, slash his car tyres and tell all her friends he was small and often couldn’t perform.

and please I am joking.

cheers

Toby

Post edited at 18:08
Deadeye 13 Jan 2020
In reply to DerwentDiluted:

Ha! Yes. Typo.

Although becoming claustrophobic mother-in-law has attractive possibilities

Tobes 13 Jan 2020
In reply to Deadeye:

> Leave it a week, let her grieve. Then maybe a duvet night, romcom film, big cathartic cry, and gently move in.

hmm - prize for the most inappropriate typo? ; ) 

pcassels 13 Jan 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

I was going to suggest persuade her out for a walk/s so the dog would help there. Just spend time with her chat about other stuff and she'll know your there if she needs/wants to talk. 

Deadeye 13 Jan 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

> Thanks everyone, some good advice there. 

> Our dog is helping massively too, a big bouncy golden retriever, it is hard to stay sad when he’s around!


"I wish I was a glow-worm

A glow-worm's never glum

It's hard to be unhappy

When the sun shines out your bum"

LeeWood 13 Jan 2020
colinakmc 13 Jan 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

Don’t say much, give her hugs. Dads aren’t expected to know much about these things.Lots of other good advice here on the same lines.

Deadeye 13 Jan 2020
In reply to Toby_W:

> You know, burn his house down, slash his car tyres and tell all her friends he was small and often couldn’t perform.

"It was like a penis, only smaller"

Billhook 13 Jan 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

Just listen her and be empathetic to how she may be feeling.  And give her a cuddle!

Andy Hardy 13 Jan 2020
In reply to Mike505:

> Distraction may be the best bet. Maybe an activity that requires a lot of focus, consumes a lot of spare time and be something she can obsess about?

> Unfortunately nothing comes to mind ;)

Clay pigeon shooting? 😇

Wanderer100 13 Jan 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

I've got 2 daughters and sometimes feel a bit useless when it comes to emotional stuff. Having said that, I'm a good listener which I find can be helpful. Better to lend an ear and let them unload their woes.

Deadeye 13 Jan 2020
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> Clay pigeon shooting? 😇


Um, baking is a well tried and tested one.  As a prelude to the duvet night.

We went through a similar thing with our daughter, whilst also being able to see it coming a mile away (first love, older boy, gap year romance, you get the picture).  All you can do is catch the pieces.  But the resilience is deep in reality - and we are hugely proud of how she forgave, kept the things of value and moved on.  After all, if you don't keep the things you enjoyed, what does that say about the time and soul you invested?

yorkshire_lad2 14 Jan 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

Don't dis the ex girl/boyfriend: it's never a good thing to do.

Separtely, I heard (I think it was BBCR4, a programme about helicopters and snowploughs, in relation to parenting) that the first time kids experience disappointment/failure in the world is the driving test, becuase some of them will fail, and they're not used to failure.

Help your daughter as best you can, and some good advice here, and help her through it, because it (break-up) will probably happen again (we all wish it wouldn't, but it probably will) and one thing you can help her with is to is to learn from the process as well.  We hope we learn from our previous relationships....?

(Written as someone who is not a parent, but has recent experience of break up of relationship).

Timmd 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Wanderer100:

> I've got 2 daughters and sometimes feel a bit useless when it comes to emotional stuff. Having said that, I'm a good listener which I find can be helpful. Better to lend an ear and let them unload their woes.

I'm sure that they find it helpful that you're there as an ear for them. 

Moley 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> Clay pigeon shooting? 😇

Now you're talking, maybe she could paint little faces on the clay pigeons first, to motivate her into hitting them?

Murderous_Crow 15 Jan 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

I feel for you and your daughter. It's lovely to read this thread though, many wise words... Just show your love for her, let it shine out! She will draw strength from that even if it feels like you aren't helping. Be there and let her talk.

WaterMonkey 15 Jan 2020
In reply to Murderous_Crow:

Thanks, you're right some great advice and good help.

Last night I spent the night cuddling her on the sofa and I had to endure love island! She's also stolen the wife's favourite teddy. She has a sleep over friday with her girlfriends and the missus is taking her to see  star wars Saturday. She may play on us being overly nice to her for some time!

Post edited at 07:51
summo 15 Jan 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

Loads of top tips already. I'll add book a weekend break or trip for Easter or some time not too far off. It puts something on the horizon she can work towards. Or treat her and her closest friends to a day out somewhere, it'll get her back in the fold & routine, after perhaps spending the majority of her time with him. 

neilh 15 Jan 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

No Father should have to endure Love Island for their daughters. High School Musical was bad enough for me , but Love Island!

WaterMonkey 15 Jan 2020
In reply to neilh:

> No Father should have to endure Love Island for their daughters. High School Musical was bad enough for me , but Love Island!

Haha, i put up with teletubbies and tweenies whilst hungover 16 years ago so i'll battle on!

hang_about 15 Jan 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

I'd heard of helicopter parents - but snowplough was a new one on me!


This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.