7 Tips to Help Teens Cope with Divorce
Divorce is never easy, but when children are involved it can be even more complicated. When parents break up, it changes the dynamics of the entire family. The child suddenly has to cope with two homes, two sets of rules, and often two sets of parental figures.
This can be very confusing and overwhelming for a teenager. And in some cases, divorce can be extra hard on the children. They may feel like they are to blame, or that they have lost everything. They may feel like they have no one to turn to. If you are going through a divorce, here are seven tips to help make the process easier for your teenager.
Talk to your child
It is important for parents to openly discuss the legislative process with their teenagers, as it will help them better understand how the legal part of marriage works. According to a Brisbane family lawyer, even though it is normal for teens to rebel against their parents’ advice, having clear knowledge of the effects of divorce will allow your child to make up his/her mind calmly and rationally, so consider scheduling them their own appointment with a lawyer. You must let him/her be part of the decision-making process. You can also talk to a counselor or therapist if you feel it is necessary. In addition, consulting with a lawyer can help ensure that your teenager is fully informed about their rights and options during a divorce.
Be supportive of your teenager’s decisions and choices
It is normal for your teenager to feel angry, sad, or even guilty after a divorce. They might not be sure about how they should react and what kind of decisions they should make. However, it will help if you show your support by listening to them without judgment. Let them know that their feelings are valid and acceptable in the situation. Help them express their emotions in words, rather than actions.
During the process of divorce, your teenager may feel like they are losing one or both parents. Let them know that you will still be there for them no matter what happens with the divorce proceedings, and encourage them to seek help from family members or friends if they require emotional support.
Allow them space
It can be helpful for teenagers to spend time with friends or family members that they don’t normally see often. This will give them a chance to express their feelings and emotions in a safe and supportive environment. Exchanging stories and experiences can help them feel understood and less alone during this difficult time.
Divorce can be stressful for everyone involved, so give yourself time to grieve and deal with the changes in your own life. Take care of yourself physically and emotionally by eating healthy, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, meditating, etc.
During this time, attempt only not to put any extra pressure on your child, but don’t go out of your way to change some ground rules and routines, since this will leave them space to try and manipulate you. Children, especially teenagers, can try to act out in an attempt to attract more attention and sympathy from their parents.
Make sure to establish boundaries and consequences
The divorce proceedings can be overwhelming for teenagers, especially if they are required to take sides or make decisions about custody arrangements etc. You must make it clear to them what the consequences of their choices will be and set age-appropriate household rules/boundaries.
It is not uncommon for teenagers to feel resentful towards their parents after a divorce. Try your best to remain calm and avoid passing on that anger by punishing the child harshly or yelling at them. Make sure that your punishments are logical and reasonable, as teenagers can be very sensitive about being treated unfairly.
Be patient with yourself and don’t give up
Divorce can be a trying time for everyone involved, so it is important to remain patient with yourself and the situation. It will take time before you fully cope with this change, but it will get better with each day that goes by. If you find yourself struggling to deal with your emotions or coping mechanisms during this difficult time, consider seeking the help of a therapist. They can also provide support for your teenager if needed.
Expect a rebellion
Teenagers are used to following their parent’s instructions without question. Therefore, you must be patient and tread carefully during the divorce proceedings. You want them to follow your directions, but not feel forced into doing something they do not agree with. Let them express their thoughts and feelings, without judgment, and encourage them to seek help from family members or friends if they require emotional support.
Occasionally, teenagers can begin to feel like strangers in the home after a divorce. Try not to take it personally if they don’t seem interested in spending time with you or participating in activities they normally enjoy. This may be because they do not know how to act at home anymore and need
Stay positive and you will get through this
It’s natural to feel sad, depressed, or even resentful about the situation after a divorce. However, try your best to remain calm and stay optimistic by treating yourself with compassion and love.
The divorce proceedings will be difficult, but you will get through this with time. Create a healthy support system for yourself by surrounding yourself with positive people that understand what you are going through.
A divorce is one of the most difficult experiences that any person can go through in their lifetime, but it does not have to destroy your family if both parents want to cooperate and work together. As we experience this thing called life, we accumulate memories, positive or negative, that stay with us for the rest of our time here.
For some, these memories can be painful, and we find ourselves wishing we could alter them in some way. All of that is life-changing to some extent, but there are choices we can make that allow us to re-write our script. What seems like an insurmountable challenge today becomes a memory tomorrow. No matter what you are going through, it will change and be done soon enough.
Contact us if you have exhausted your local resources with your troubled teen. We help you make smart decisions for teen help programs, therapeutic boarding schools and other options for struggling teens.