When you’re going through a divorce, one of the things you might worry about is how your teenage child will react. The truth is that every teen is different, and every divorce has factors that influence them. For some teenagers, the divorce might come as a relief. For others, it may feel like their world is coming to an end.
What you don’t want to have happen is for your teen to act out or feel that he or she isn’t being heard. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent that from happening. Here are three things you can do to help your teen though divorce.
1. Don’t change your teen’s routine
As much as possible, keep your teen’s routine the same. If your teen currently participates in multiple extracurricular activities, try not to disrupt them. Being unable to participate in the things they enjoy could make teens lash out and blame your divorce for everything they can’t do.
2. Explain the divorce to your teen with your spouse
It’s important for parents to make a combined effort to talk to their teens about divorce. Explain what you think will happen and find out what your teen has to say. If he or she has questions about the divorce or worries about how it will affect school, work or other activities, take the time to address those questions.
3. Allow for emotional outbursts
Teens are still young, and, like children, they may have times where they have emotional outbursts because of not knowing how else to handle the situation. If your teen lashes out, try not to become confrontational. This is likely a temporary issue, but if it continues, consider mediation or therapy.
These are three ways to help your teen during a divorce. Be patient, and this difficult time will pass.