Advice for Teens Going Through Divorce in Orange County
Each year, parents across the country ask themselves a very important question: how are we going to tell the kids we’re getting divorced? Whether your kids are toddlers or teenagers, breaking the news that you and your partner are separating is never easy. It’s natural to be nervous about telling your kids. After all, a divorce will change their lives quite drastically; however, it’s important to talk with your kids as early as possible so you can help them cope with the divorce in healthy ways. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Talk with your kids together
If possible, sit down with your children as a couple to talk about the divorce. Let your kids know that you and your partner have decided to go your separate ways, but reinforce the idea that you are still a family. Many times, children are nervous that one or both parents will stop loving them during a divorce. Remind your kids that you love them and that even though you and your partner will no longer be in a relationship, you will both always be their parents.
2. Focus on family time
Try to think of ways you can spend time together as a family. If emotions are running high with your former partner, it may be difficult to spend time together at first; however, try to find ways that you can get together with your kids. This can help your children experience normalcy despite the way their lives are changing. For example, you can attend sporting events together or even meet up to have dinner.
3. Read books
There are many divorce-friendly books designed to help kids cope with the changes they’ll go through when their parents separate. You and your partner can help your kids find books that will speak to them on a personal level. You may find that both fiction and non-fiction books are beneficial. Depending on the ages of your children, you may want to read the books with them.
4. Listen to your kids
Your kids will probably have a lot of feelings and emotions during this time. Make sure you’re actually listening to them. Many parents make the mistake of telling a child how to feel instead of asking the child how they feel. Remind your kids that their feelings are valid, no matter what they might be.
5. Consider counseling
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your separation, family therapy may be a good option. If your kids are having a hard time coping, they’re struggling in school, or they’re experiencing uncontrollable emotions, a family therapist can help you work through the situation together as a team.
Remember that while divorce is difficult, you aren’t the first family to go through this experience, and you won’t be the last. As long as you focus on helping your children through each day, you’ll find that as time goes on, your kids will learn to handle the divorce in healthy ways. Make sure you take the time to talk with your kids regularly and listen to what they have to say. This will help you guide them through this experience as you move forward with your new lives.