However amicable it is, the divorce process can be extremely challenging for both parties. Divorce can take a toll on children too, especially teenagers who are more aware of their surroundings.
It is not uncommon for teens to express concern about their parents’ divorce and how it will impact their lives. Here are a few tips that can help you talk about divorce to your teenage children.
Keep it civil
There is no doubt that divorce can be an emotional undertaking. During those tumultuous days, it is easy to let emotions get the better of you. However, while talking about the divorce to your teen, it is important that you do not disparage your soon-to-be ex. It is important that you keep the kids out of your differences and do not place them in the middle. Besides hurting your teen’s relationship with the other parent, belittling your spouse in front of your child is a serious offense that can land you in trouble with the divorce court.
Timing is very important
There is never a perfect time for the bad news. However, you do not want to break the news of your divorce on a special day like your child’s birthday or during the holidays. You equally do not want to break this news when your teen is preoccupied with their schoolwork or when they are writing their exams. A better idea would be to identify an evening when neither of you has anything important scheduled. Still, per timing, it is important that you inform your teen about the divorce together. Do not delegate this task to your spouse.
Assure your teenager of your love and support
Children take their security and safety very seriously. They will definitely wonder how their day-to-day life will be impacted by the divorce. It is important that you address these concerns by assuring your child of your unconditional love and support. Also, let them know they had nothing to do with your divorce. Suggest that your child may always speak to a trusted adult, see a therapist, or attend a support group with other teens with divorcing parents.
Divorce is tough, make no mistake. Consult with an experienced divorce attorney in your area to help your family navigate this difficult time.