Divorcing when you have a child is a challenge, but it can be a very trying time when you are dealing with a teenager. A teen has become accustomed to the way of life that involves you and your ex still together. They might push against the divorce to the point that they make both parents miserable. It is up to you to help the child work through the problems they are experiencing. You and your ex might have to work together to ensure that the child’s best interests are a priority.
It is easy to forget that a teenager isn’t yet an adult. They don’t have the same coping skills as an adult. Instead of expecting them to just blindly accept the divorce, you need to take the time to help them understand what it means to work through the situation in a productive manner. While you are doing this, make sure you help them deal with their emotions and find appropriate ways to express them.
Because teens are so perceptive, they might have been able to sense the tension in the house before the divorce. They might equate this with the normal challenges that come with raising a child who is in this age group. You will need to make sure that all of the children know that the divorce isn’t their fault. Going into the actual reasons isn’t necessary but you need to make sure they aren’t blaming themselves.
Sometimes, the stress of the divorce comes from the thought that they won’t be able to spend time with their friends now. Alleviating these fears can help you considerably. Even though this is a major life upheaval, you should encourage your children to spend time with friends and family members so that they can have time away from the circumstances surrounding the divorce.
Source: Our Family Wizard, “Dealing with Your Parents’ Divorce as a Teenager,” accessed June 01, 2018