Ways to Help Teens Cope with Divorce
Divorce can be an incredibly difficult time for each family member involved. Parents may be faced with not only the loss of a very important relationship, but also the struggle to help the children cope with a sudden upheaval in the family dynamics. When the divorce comes about during a child’s teenage years, the breakup may be particularly overwhelming. Adolescence already involves plenty of developmental changes, and a divorce may add to the confusion and frustration that many teens experience.
The following tips may help you and your teen cope with the transition:
Listen – Allow plenty of time to talk one-on-one with your teen and listen to his or her feelings. Remain calm and understanding, and explain that the divorce is not his or her fault.
Promote a bond with both parents – Do not talk badly about your ex-spouse to avoid creating distrust or loyalty conflicts. It is still important to nurture healthy relationships between your teen and both parents.
Agree on ground rules – Discuss living arrangements and parenting time with your teen to establish a new, reliable routine.
Adapt – Understand what your teen is going through and be willing to adjust to meet his or her needs. Some teens may develop low self-esteem, self-defeating behavior, or act out against one or both parents.
For a free and confidential consultation with the Pennsylvania family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, LLC, please call (610) 645-0100. Our team is experienced at helping families through the difficult process of divorce and can help you understand your legal rights and options.