When you choose to go through a divorce, that decision impacts everyone in your family. If you’re a parent to a teen, that could be a difficult conversation to have. Teens don’t like to be out of control, and many may struggle with the idea that their parents are splitting up. Some teens may believe it’s their fault or that one parent is leaving because he or she doesn’t love the child.
Every family is different, but each situation does have an adjustment period. Here are a few things you can do to help your child through this phase.
1. Talk to your child about divorce
The first thing you need to do is to talk to your child about divorce. Teens are old enough to understand that their parents may simply not get along, so it’s okay to say so. Explain what your teen can expect in the coming months.
2. Listen to your child’s needs and questions
When you talk about divorce, it’s likely that your teen will have questions. How will this divorce affect his or her schooling? Will it mean you have to move? Listen to questions and concerns with an open mind. Although some might seem dramatic to you, for a child, the divorce is a new situation that he or she is not familiar with.
3. Encourage healthy habits
Finally, encourage healthy habits throughout the divorce. Make sure your child eats well and maintains positive grades. Have weekends or days that you spend with your child, but also your son or daughter to spend time doing the things he or she loves, like seeing friends or playing video games. Some teens may act out, but this is typically a phase that is addressable.
These are just three tips for helping your child get through a divorce. Be patient, because this situation will resolve.