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How Can I Help My Teenage Child Cope With My Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

Lombard divorce attorney teenage child custodyFor children, witnessing the breakdown of their parents’ marriage can be an emotionally traumatizing experience. When teenage children are involved in a divorce, it is especially important to consider their feelings and discuss the separation with them. Navigating the academic rigors and social aspects of high school can be difficult enough, and the challenges of adolescence are often amplified during a divorce. Below are a few ways to assist your teenage child through the divorce process.

Steps You Can Take 

Helping your child understand the reasons behind your separation and the necessity for a divorce can be an incredibly challenging dialogue to engage in. Still, when parenting teenage children, it can be wise to have as many conversations as possible. Be sure to consider the following:

  • Discuss Custody: While decisions about child custody and parenting time are made by the parents or, in some cases, by a judge, children’s wishes may play a role in these decisions. It can be highly beneficial to have discussions with your teenage children about what they would like to happen after your divorce. Ensuring that your child will be able to spend significant time with both parents can help to lower any anxiety they may have about the divorce. 
  • Offer Emotional Encouragement: In many divorces, children will blame themselves for their parents’ divorce. These negative thoughts can lead to academic problems, anxiety or depression, and even abuse of drugs or alcohol. Speaking with your child about the reasons behind your separation can be key to helping them understand that they were not the cause of the divorce. 
  • Speak With Other Role Models: As you prepare for your divorce, it is important to inform other figures in your child’s life about the separation. As mentioned above, it is possible that your child may begin to struggle academically or display erratic behavior. Speaking with your child’s teachers, coaches, or other family members can help them understand why your child may be acting differently. 
  • Remain Engaged: While a divorce represents a time of change, your child needs you to remain a strong parental force in their life. Make sure you are giving your child ample opportunities to speak with you about the divorce and what is going on in their life. Maintaining interest in their scholastic, athletic, or extracurricular activities and their day to day interests can help your child understand that you will always be there for them. 

Contact a Wheaton Family Law Attorney 

The divorce process is likely to evoke a wide variety of emotions. When children are involved in your divorce, these emotional struggles can be increasingly tumultuous. Hiring a family law team that you can trust can help alleviate your stress regarding the legal side of a divorce, allowing you to focus on your family’s mental and emotional health. At the Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., our team is confident in our ability to assist you in navigating all aspects of your divorce. To schedule a meeting with an experienced DuPage County divorce lawyer, call our office today at 630-462-9500. 

Sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2013/feb/05/divorce-difficult-for-teenage-children

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