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Parents can help ease teen's pain from ended relationship

Parents can help ease teen's pain from ended relationship

When love falls apart

February 12th, 2012 in News

See our newspaper or e-Edition for Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012, to read the full version of this News Tribune feature.

With Valentine's Day close approaching, it isn't difficult to get caught up in the romantic notion of chocolates and roses. However, the painful side of love can also rear its head during the heart-filled celebrations.

Breakups are emotionally draining, especially for teenagers who might be experiencing the end of a relationship for the first time. Parents can provide a solid support system for a heartbroken child if they recognize how the adolescent mind works and adapt their approach accordingly.

"A person's mind isn't totally developed until past adolescence," said Colin Duggan, a licensed psychologist at the Center for Mental Wellness at Capital Region Medical Center in Jefferson City.

Kathy Dothage, human development specialist and county program director for Osage County and the central Missouri region of the University of Missouri Extension, said that the response to a breakup might depend on if the teen is a boy or a girl.