Love is a many splendored thing, but you know what isn’t? Breaking up. Breakups are tough. As parents, we know this undeniable fact all too well. Most of us have experienced a number of relationships, so we've experienced heartache and anguish, unrequited love and two people growing apart. Our kids, however, don’t have nearly the kind of life experience we do, so they see relationships differently and love differently. As a result, the kind of breakup advice kids give is basically all over the place. Some of their tips are on the nose, but others are, frankly, just hilarious.
I asked my own kid what kind of advice he would give someone if they broke up with someone else, and his answer was surprisingly profound. He said, “Work. They should just work." And his answer was said in a way that implied I was ridiculous for even asking a question with such an obvious answer. Shouldn't I, and everybody else, know this already? The kid is wise beyond his years, I tell you.
It’s been quite a while since my last breakup, though, so I asked a few other kids to share their solid breakup advice. From ages 4 through 15, the responses range from ghosting to elaborate smear campaigns (you’ll get the double-entendre later). If you’re currently in the depths of heartbreak, see if you don’t find some wisdom (or at least some laughs) in the following responses:
"I think you should really just sit back, play some Halo, and not worry about it so much. It's not like they're dead."
"You could draw a picture of the them and then use it to clean up your dog's poop. It will make you feel better. You should also talk to your momma or your aunts, they're good at rubbing your hair and making you feel better."
“Just try, you know, to hang out with friends, and do something that you guys find fun with the result of forgetting about the break up and making it easier to move on.”
“You should probably just stop sitting next to them and talking to them.”
“Get over yourself, you're too young!”
“I would go home and be mad and break stuff.”
"Talk it out."
“I don't know! I saw a thing on the internet that you can block pictures of happy couples. That seems like a good idea.”
“They should find someone better.”
"I don't know, I'm too young."
"It doesn't matter mama."
"Go run fast."
“Ask them if they can be your friend, do something you like so you forget about it, and watch a new show on TV.”
“Tell them that person was just a part of their life story. Sometimes bad things happen but it’s not the end of your story... there’s more to write. Do something you like to get your mind off of it.”
"I would forget about it or find a reason why we broke up. "
"I would find a friend that can help me cope. Draw, sing, or dance to get my mind off of it."
"I would talk to another person."