One of the most challenging aspects of keeping a healthy relationship with your teen during a divorce is the fact that it is very common for teens to keep their emotions hidden.
Whereas younger children will make their emotions very known and obvious to you, teenagers will typically take just the opposite approach. And if you take the time and make the effort to talk to them, that doesn’t at all mean that your teen is going to open up.
Here are the top tips that you can use to keep your relationship healthy with your teen during a divorce:
Inform Them That You Are Getting A Divorce
First and foremost, you need to inform your teen that you are getting a divorce instead of having your teen find out another way. Ideally, both you and your spouse would have a sit down with them to explain that things aren’t working out the way you originally had hoped.
Don’t Fight With Your Spouse
Ideally, you won’t fight with your spouse at all, but at the very least don’t fight with them in front of your teen. And if you do have a fight with your spouse apart from your teen, neither you or your spouse should inform them of that you fought. This will only cause more stress and anxiety in your teen, and could force them to become even more closed off than they already are.
Give Your Teen Plenty of Attention
The last thing you want for your teen is for them to feel abandoned and unloved during the divorce process. This is why you will still want to give them your full and undivided attention.
This means that when you talk with them, your phone should not be anywhere in sight. It also means that you will need to dedicate time each day to be with them, talk with them, and do activities they are interested in.
Make Sure They Have Access To A Third Party
While you absolutely want to give your teen your undivided attention, you also don’t want to dominate their lives. It’s very critical to find the right balance, and this means ensuring that your teen has access to a third party such as a counselor, therapist, coach, adult friend, or whoever else you can think of.
What matters most is that this third party member be unbiased and neutral. Otherwise, they could only stir up dissent by making your teen resent either you or your spouse (or both), which could lead to destructive behaviors as well.
Watch Out For Changes
Last but not least, keep a close eye on any changes that you notice in your teen. Behavioral changes are completely normal, such as your teen becoming angry or closed off, but you’ll want to watch out for any negative and harmful changes such as cutting, turning to alcohol and drugs, and so on.