If you have recently gone through a divorce, it can be hard on everyone in the family. Dealing with a divorce can be especially tough on teens. It is important that you treat your teenager with a level of respect during this process. Here are four ways to empower your teen while dealing with the fallout of a divorce.
1. Get Them Someone to Talk to
While you might want to be a sympathetic ear for your child during a divorce, you might actually be the last person that they want to discuss their problems with. Chances are they are hurt and confused, and they may harbor these emotions for both parents. Finding a counselor or therapist for your child will give them an external outlet to work through their pain in a more private way.
2. Don't Make Your Problems Their Problems
Having shared custody can add an entire new level to your lifestyle, and this might feel like a burden. You might still be reeling from the divorce yourself and you might want to vent to your teen. Try your best to keep these feelings from your children and find someone else to be an ear. Older children may have a higher emotional intelligence than younger kids, but this doesn't mean they need to hear all of your woes and emotions.
3. Hear Them Out About Changes in Schedules
As teens grow, they will have their own life and agenda, and it's important to let this flourish in positive ways. If there are scheduled changes that might affect your custody schedule with your ex, try to be as understanding and as flexible as possible. These changes may mean more to your teen than your realize, especially if it has to do with close friends, school events, or extracurricular activities,
4. Give Them Space Between Visitation Transitions
Once your divorce is finalized and custody agreements are worked out through mediation or with the help of family law attorneys, you might think that the dust will settle. The thing is, a whole new schedule and lifestyle might be occurring for your teen. If your child will be back and forth between homes, be respectful of this shakeup in your teen's life. Don't bombard them or pepper your teenager with questions when they get home. Give them a little time and space to transition and come to you when they have decompressed.
Divorce can be especially hard for teens who are straddling the line between childhood and adulthood. If you can strike the right balance of support and respect for your teen during this time in their life, navigating the process will hopefully be easier for them.Share