How to Help a Teen When Parents Are Divorcing
Divorce is not easy. It is difficult for everyone, including young children and teenagers. A divorce can create a situation where children have to learn how to live in a new way. It can completely disrupt their day-to-day lives.
If you are a parent of teenagers and are moving forward with a divorce, discuss your situation with a Bucks County family attorney. An experienced lawyer can secure the future you want and steer you toward support systems to help your children transition. There are many professionals available.
Communication Can Help
Families communicate in different ways. Some teens are able to cope with their parents divorcing through conversations, this can be particularly true when parents have worked together to develop a strong co-parenting system.
Letting a teenager know it is ok for them to share their fears and concerns can be healthy. It is ok to admit it when there is uncertainty. For instance, if it may not be possible for a child to continue at their current school, let them know that while their parents are working toward the best solution, there is some uncertainty until everything can be finalized.
When needed, it can be helpful to have a teenager talk with a counselor or mental health professional to share their frustrations with a neutral party. This can be particularly beneficial if a teen is exhibiting any of the following issues.
- Increased sadness or stress
- Sleeping issues
- Falling grades or other academic issues
- Substance abuse
- Anxiety or depression
- Friend and peer issues
- Not getting along with parents and siblings
- Behavioral problems
Connect with Teens
Many experts advise talking with teenagers and showing a genuine interest in their concerns and activities. Even if they seem closed off, it is important they feel they can rely on a parent during a time of change. It can be helpful to recognize that even when a marriage dissolution is amicable, it can still be difficult emotionally. Young children and teenagers need time to process what is happening.
When a teenager is experiencing mood changes or behavior issues, reach out for professional help. There are times when even a few sessions talking to a third party with a patient ear can be instrumental in changing a challenging time to one of peaceful productivity.
Children need time to acclimate, just as parents do. Being open and positive can be helpful. After all, a divorce is often necessary because two people were not happy sharing their lives together, possibly because of lack of commitment, fighting, infidelity, or unrealistic expectations. Living apart is an opportunity for each parent to secure the happiness they want. Facing tough times can make a person stronger, even if there are weak points through the process that need support.
Are you navigating the divorce process and are worried about how your teenager is coping with the transition? The attorneys at Kardos, Rickles & Hand can help. Our legal team is connected to resources and can share the steps of the divorce process with you. Schedule your free consultation today, call (215) 968-6602.