Teenagers can be significantly impacted upon learning their parents are getting divorced. It’s common for some to be in shock or denial. Others sink into a depression and lose interest in activities. If you and your Washington spouse are divorcing, you can help your teen cope.
Remember that they’re still a child
Keep in mind that your teen is still a child, so they can experience many emotions regarding your divorce. Even if they’re mature and look older, don’t share details of your marital problems. Instead, be there for them during this difficult time and continue to be a role model.
Avoiding fighting in front of them
You and your spouse might have a difficult relationship as your marriage ends, but it’s crucial to avoid fighting in front of your children. Depending on the circumstances of your split, this might be difficult, but if you have to argue, do it out of your child’s presence. Be as cordial and respectful as possible in front of them to avoid creating an even more stressful situation.
Don’t use them as a messenger
Never manipulate your children during the divorce and use them as a messenger to get dirt on your estranged spouse. This can damage your relationship and result in your child seeing you in a negative light. They might even start to think you don’t care about their feelings, which can lead to negative consequences such as doing poorly in school.
Try to keep things consistent
As you and your spouse begin to maintain separate households, keeping things consistent in both could help your teen cope with divorce. Make rules and stick with them, and discipline them when necessary. There should be similar expectations in both homes to instill structure in your teen.
Teens take divorce hard, but you can reassure them and make things easier.