With any divorce case, the primary concern is the children involved. It’s necessary to make sure they’re safe and comfortable, even if they are not happy about the changes that are happening.
When children have to struggle going back and forth between homes and hear their parents fight time and time again, it makes things very difficult. Even with older children, it’s always important that parents do their best to contain their complaints about their spouses (or ex-spouses).
As a parent, what can you do to make divorce easier on teens?
The first thing to realize is that your teen is not your friend. Your teen isn’t there to listen to you lament over the loss of your romantic relationship. That doesn’t mean you can’t mourn over the loss of the family unit together, but your teen is not someone who can take the place of an adult friend or therapist.
Another thing to know is that your teen is likely going to have their own changes in response to the divorce. These might be things like breaking rules or staying out later than usual, joining many clubs or suddenly wanting to be with their friends all the time. If any of these behaviors become worrisome, you should sit down with your child and talk to them about why you’re worried. Sometimes, children just want to avoid conflict and stay out of the way. When or if that becomes dangerous, you have to step in.
These are a few things to keep in mind about a teen caught up in your divorce. Your teen needs your support and understanding.