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Supporting teenage children during and after divorce

On Behalf of | May 28, 2021 | Family Law |

Many concerns about children and divorce center around young children. In reality, divorce can have an emotionally destabilizing impact on teenage children as well.

Parents need to be conscientious about what their teenage children are feeling. Identifying ways to ensure a continuity of support during the divorce process can make the transition easier for teenagers to cope with.

Don’t omit necessary conversations because you think a teenager does not need them

Parents sometimes expect that older children do not the same level of reassurance about divorce. Nevertheless, parents should not automatically assume that teenagers will have an emotionally mature perspective about certain themes. Children of all ages need reassurance that a decision to separate or divorce is not about them. It is also imperative to emphasize that nothing about a divorce will change the love and relationship that each parent has with their children.

Refrain from disparaging a teenager’s other parent

Teenagers may have to play more of a supportive role to their parents in a divorce than younger children. As a result, parents may speak a little more freely about their former spouse, and some of it may be negative. However, parents should avoid putting their children in this position. Speaking negatively about an ex-spouse may make teenage children extremely uncomfortable, and it could damage parent-child relationships.

Adolescence can be a period of difficult change, and a divorce can make this transitional period even more overwhelming. Amid their own feelings of hurt, divorcing parents need to use their best efforts to mitigate the hurt that their teenage children may be experiencing.