Divorce can be challenging for children of all ages, including teenagers. While younger children may be more open about their feelings, teens tend to be more private and hold in how they feel. The good news is that there are certain strategies that you can use as a parent to help your teen cope with divorce. These strategies include:
It can be difficult and embarrassing for teens to have to tell teachers, coaches, and other adults in their lives that their parents are going through a divorce. Therefore, it is wise for you to inform these adults of your divorce so your son or daughter does not have to.
During and after your divorce, you may notice your teen’s behavior changing. Rather than allowing behavioral changes to escalate and hinder your teen’s everyday life, it is essential to deal with them right away. As soon as your teen displays behavior that is disrespectful or inappropriate, encourage them to discuss their feelings with you and find more positive outlets for their emotions.
Other people can be an invaluable resource for teens whose parents are going through a divorce. Whether it is a close friend, relative, guidance counselor, or therapist, a neutral third party can listen to your teen and offer them valuable, non-biased advice.
When you are speaking to your teen, ensure that they have your full attention. Avoid checking your phone, cooking dinner, or multi-tasking while you are having conversations. Your undivided attention can show your teen that they are a priority in your life.
Even if you lead a busy life, it is essential to make time for your teen. If possible, try to schedule at least one enjoyable activity each week that both of you can participate in together. Consider planning a weekly dinner date, going for walks around the neighborhood, or taking a cooking class.
It can be uncomfortable for your teen to know about your dating activities or new relationships. For this reason, it is ideal to keep these parts of your life to yourself until you meet someone that you are confident will be in your life for the long run. Details about the dates you go on should not be shared with your son or daughter.
If you are in the process of a divorce and want to make sure you can provide the best possible environment for your teen, our Joliet divorce lawyers can help you reach a positive outcome that protects your child’s best interests. Call our office at 815-726-9200 to schedule a free consultation.