The prospect of divorce is always a challenging concept and each family has a unique experience. Divorcing spouses with teenage children will likely face distinct challenges because their children are old enough to understand what is happening to their family. This may bring about anger and resentment, so it is vital that you properly address the subject with them.
Before having a conversation with your teenage children, you should consider how to approach the topic. Every situation is unique, but by being mindful and empathetic toward your children's concerns, you will be able to successfully reassure them and ease any negative emotions that they are feeling. The following are some key considerations that you should pay attention to before having the conversation.
Create time and space for the conversation
Many parents make the mistake of having a conversation about divorce over a rushed meal or when in the car. When a conversation is important, it should be uninterrupted and conducted in a peaceful environment. Children should not feel rushed, and they should be given the space to express themselves without judgment.
Listen more than you speak
Your teenage children may be saying things that you do not want to hear, but it is important that you allow them to speak and that you truly listen before responding. Avoiding interruption can go a long way toward preventing a conversation from escalating into an argument.
It's usually best to have the conversation along with the other parent so that you can present a united front. However, if you are having the conversation without the other parent present, you may be tempted to put the blame on them or talk about them in a negative light. You should fight all urges to do this. Your children have two parents, and they will identify with both. Criticism of the other parent can be interpreted as a criticism of them.
It's likely that you will not be able to provide all the answers regarding what will happen after divorce, and that is OK. You should be transparent to your teenagers about what is certain and what is not.
If you are going through a divorce in Colorado, it is important that you understand the law in full so that you can get the outcome you deserve.