Saturday, December 8, 2018

How To Discuss Divorce With Your Teenagers

A divorce is a stressful event that can affect every member of the family. However, few feel the effects of this event like teens do. Young people who come from broken homes are more likely to run away, become homeless, and commit suicide, especially when they come from homes that no longer have a father present. While these statistics can be troubling, there are a few strategies you can use to approach the subject of an impending divorce between yourself and spouse to protect your teenagers’ futures.

Talk as a Family

While your family might about to go through some changes, this does not mean the permanent death of the unit. In fact, gathering the family and discussing the divorce together can help soften the blow and offer your teens the comfort and support from both their parents, their siblings, and anyone else who lives in the home.

Talking about divorce as a family can also help your teens understand that while the relationship with your spouse is ending, it will not affect your role as a parent. This is one of the most important points to impress on your teens, since they are at an age when parental support and presence are more important than ever, even though they might desire independence on the surface.

Allow Questions

As young adults, your teenagers will likely have a better grasp of what divorce means than their younger siblings. As such, they may ask many questions. While you might not have all the answers, giving them a forum in which to ask is important because otherwise, they may feel ashamed or unsure about the process. This can lead to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

There are a few common questions your teen may ask, and being prepared for them may help you discuss the divorce with more confidence. Be ready to answer queries about what caused the divorce, which parent will be moving out, whether they will be given a choice about where to live, and why you and your spouse failed to work out your problems. These questions will likely be asked out confusion and feelings of self-blame, so it is important to reassure your teens they did nothing to cause the breakup.

Ask Your Lawyer for Advice

Having an experienced divorce lawyer on your side can help you navigate the difficult process of explaining divorce to your teens. For example, the attorneys of Cordell and Cordell are skilled in handling situations connected with divorce and may be able to offer you an array of advice on how to phrase your words. This law office is especially familiar with guiding men through some of the specific issues they go through, so if you find yourself in this situation, it might be wise to seek out its attorneys.

Do Not Expect a Singular Reaction

Once you break the news to your teens that you are divorcing your spouse, you may expect them to react with anger or tears. However, since every adolescent is different, they may display a variety of emotions, from near-silence to curiosity to blaming themselves. Before you talk to them, consider each child’s usual temperament, as this may help you gauge how they are going to react.

It is also important to remember that your teens’ reactions may create unexpected emotions for you. This is normal, as divorce is hard for every member of the family. Consider consulting a law office blog, such as one from Cordell Cordell, that can give you some idea of what men might experience as they navigate the difficult journey of divorce. o

Divorce can be a potentially devastating to any family member, but teenagers can be especially vulnerable to self-blame and other destructive behavior. Knowing how to talk to them about the end of their parents’ marriage can lower this risk and help them through the changes your family will likely endure.

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