Divorce or separation can be an overwhelming experience for the entire family. It is not uncommon for adults to be carried away with emotions, grief and disappointment following the breakdown of the relationship.
Divorce can also hit teenage children very hard. As a result, they may respond to the development through antisocial behavior like crime and substance abuse that may have far-reaching consequences. Here are three tips that can help you minimize the impact of divorce on your teenage children:
Keep the children out of your fights
Regardless of the circumstances of your divorce, your children must never be involved in your fights. Instead, both parents should focus on ensuring that the children build a strong and healthy relationship with the other parent.
Never fight each other in front of the children and never create a situation where the children have to take sides. This could lead to parental alienation, and its impacts can last a lifetime.
Be available for your children
Divorce comes with uncertainty, and your children will most likely have questions. Be there for them. Encourage them to speak openly about their fears and concerns. If they have questions, try to answer them as honestly as you can – without disparaging the other parent.
If they cannot speak freely with you, encourage them to talk to someone they are more comfortable with like their grandparents or counselor.
Make a proper custody arrangement
Children, especially teenagers, need stability at all times. Therefore, be sure to come up with a viable arrangement on how they will spend time with each parent. If there is a need to change the living arrangement, be sure to involve them in this discussion.
Of course, children cannot legally dictate custody and visitation terms. However, involving your teens in their own schedule makes it easier to gain their cooperation.
Divorce hits teenagers differently. Find out how you can act in your teenage children’s best interest while dissolving your marriage.