Getting divorced is not easy on any members of the family. From the parents down the line to little children, everyone is going to struggle with a family divorce. The amount of struggle is going to vary greatly depending on age and each individual situation. Some kids handle divorce much better than others, which means that each situation has to be treated on a case by case basis. Teens, however, seem to have some of the hardest reactions to divorce and family splits. Being there to support your teens through the process is very important.
Teens years often come with rebellion on a good day. If you mix in a family disaster and a yucky divorce, you can almost expect that your teen may decide that they need to rebel in order to be heard or seen. When talking with a family law attorney we learned that many teens feel as though their needs and wishes are being pushed aside as their parents deal with divorce. Because they feel that their needs are being ignored, they are going to be looking for ways to get your attention. Rebellion is one of the ways that teens feel they can grab their parents attention quickly. If you can focus on giving your teens the needed attention before it is too late and they start looking for ways to catch your eye, you may be able to avoid a nasty battle with rebellion on top of your already stressful situation.
One on One Time
We can not stress the importance of one on one time enough. Showing your children that they matter and that you are focused on them can really help support them through the process of divorce. One of one time is a great way to show your child that you are not too busy or stressed to deal with their needs. This time should be free of talking about anything regarding you. The divorce topic needs to stay clear of this precious time for your teen. Allow them to tell you what is happening in their life and talk to you about their problems. The chances that they have done a lot of listing to your problems of the process of the divorce is high and there is a good chance that they wish you would sit and observe what they feel is stressing them out.
More than anything else, the best thing you can do for your teen is communicate with them well. When we say communication, we do not mean share all of your frustrations and problems with them. They do not want to hear about how much you do not appreciate their other parent. However, they do not want to feel as though you are hiding things from them. Be open with them, but remember to protect their emotions and be cautious of the people that they love, regardless if you love them or not.