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Your Girl's Broken Heart

A good reason for girls to get involved in sports, besides honing their physical talents and learning teamwork, is that they learn how to accept losses. Sooner or later, even the best female athlete or the best girls' team in the world can get defeated. Yet the season, or the competition, goes on. It is a sign of good sportsmanship to accept victory and defeat graciously. Having a relationship with a boy is not a sport, but the end of a relationship can be compared to losing an important game. Naturally your daughter will be hurt when it happens, even if she is the one who calls it quits.


Doctors report finding "stress cardiomyopathy," also called the broken-heart syndrome, in some patients. This is a condition of intense emotional stress that can cause rapid heartbeat and severe heart-muscle weakness. It can occur because of surprise, grief, or the death of a loved one.

Be sure to warn your girl about the potential of a "broken heart" before she starts a serious boy friendship. It is a normal risk that comes with any deep or long-standing relationship, even one with her best girlfriend. When your daughter has a breakup, she needs to know that she is not alone in what she is feeling: sadness, anger, confusion, and maybe a lack of confidence and a measure of jealousy.

Therefore give her these heartbreak-healing hints before she needs them so she has them handy. The best heart-pain relievers include:

  • Sharing your feelings with someone you trust, and that includes crying.
  • Doing something that is fun and taking care of yourself.
  • Keeping busy helping others who are worse off.
  • Counting the days. It can take from two days to weeks and months for a teen girl to get over a breakup.

If your daughter initiated the end of the relationship, she should be nice about it, not "tell all" and spread rumors. This boy may turn into a friend after a while, become her girlfriend's boyfriend, or become close again later, so it is best not to burn her bridges. In the meantime, you can be certain that your girl will get over her heartache, if you make sure her hurt does not turn into lingering anger. Tell her not to waste time blaming the boy or herself. Some relationships are for practice and some are for longer term.

From The Everything Parent's Guide to Raising Girls Copyright © 2007, F+W Publications, Inc. Used by permission of Adams Media, an F+W Publications Company. All rights reserved.

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