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November 10, 2017
Divorcing with teens: Addressing changes in daily life

Having a teenager in the home at the same time you decide to get a divorce has its challenges. Some teens understand and support their parents’ decisions, while others begin to lash out or become depressed. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to take care of your teen during this time, even if you think that he or she will handle the divorce well. There could be underlying concerns or issues your teen is avoiding, so focus on talking to your teen early to get through the divorce more easily.A divorce is challenging without the complication that comes from having children going through it as well. Here are a few tips for helping your teen get through divorce more easily.

Forget the myths

Whatever you’ve learned in the past about the maturity of teens compared to children of younger ages, forget it. Your child may seem mature, but this is still a new experience that threatens his or her very way of life. You need to be prepared for your teen to be upset, angry or sad. Take your teen’s feelings into consideration and remember that much of what he or she may say could be out of anger. Try to stay calm when talking to your teen and remember that he or she is trying to adjust just as you are.

Help your teen by maintaining his or her identity as much as possible

Changing schools, homes and routines threatens a teen’s idea of his or her identity. It means major changes, and that’s hard to overcome. Try to limit the threat to your teen’s identity by focusing on keeping as much the same as possible. Does your teen have the choice to stay at his or her current school? If so, try to do that. Does he or she have a chance to continue with the same teams or extracurricular activities? Do your best to make sure that happens.

Teens do sometimes struggle with their parents’ divorces, but you can help. Remember that your teen will express his or her emotions and that his or her identity is threatened. By addressing those issues, you can your child get through the divorce.

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