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4 Tips for Helping Your Teen Through Your Divorce

Getting divorced doesn’t just impact you and your former partner. Divorce can also have a huge impact on any children that you may have. While things might seem straightforward with a younger child, the issues surrounding divorce are more complex when you have a teen. Below are four tips you can use to help your teen through your divorce.

Keep Things Positive

Start by making sure that you have positive, realistic conversations with your child. Yes, things are changing. Yes, your relationship with the child’s other parent is going to be different. With that said, you should emphasize that your love for your child has not changed and that your child did not play a role in the divorce. Under no circumstances should you blame the other party or speak ill of the child’s other parent in front of him or her.

Work with a Psychologist

No matter how smoothly the divorce goes, there will be issues caused by this sudden change in your teen’s life. As such, he or she should not be expected to work on these changes alone. Make sure that you engage the help of a good therapist that specializes in helping teens – and preferably find one who can also offer family counseling for the two of your together. Working with a professional can help your teen to deal with serious issues in a healthy way.

Talk to a Mediator

It may also be a good idea to work with a mediator who specializes in family law. Bringing your child along to talk about some aspects of how his or her life will change after the divorce is a good idea, as the neutral third party can help you to create mutually beneficial solutions. Though you certainly don’t want your teen involved in all of the discussions between you and your ex, bringing him or her into a collaborative environment can be helpful.

Keep Talking

Above all else, you must keep talking with your teen. This is not a conversation you can have just once, and it’s certainly not a situation that is going to stay static. Your child needs to know that you are there to talk to even if the conversations themselves aren’t pleasant. You are your child’s most valuable confidant, so make sure you take that position seriously.

Remember to be honest and open, but also remember that you can’t do it all. Get professional help when needed and support your child whenever you can. This is going to be a big change for everyone, so do what you can to help your teen to adjust.

Tim Esterdahl

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