Majority of my teen clients come from a divorced set of parents. Sometimes that is the reason they come into counseling in the first place and for others, it’s just another facet of their life. I have seen some parents do a wonderful job of making this transition as smooth as possible, but there are a few “DO NOT do’s” that you apply if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.

DO NOT talk poorly about your spouse to your teen.

No matter what the situation is between you and your ex, that is still your child’s mother or father. In certain cases, like abuse or abandonment, it is a little trickier on how to handle communication about the ex, but in “normal” situations, the child does not want to hear negative talk about his or her parent. In fact, I often see the teen becoming resentful toward the parent who is doing the bashing.

DO NOT confide in your teen during this transition.

Divorce is hard. Hardly ever does it go off without any issues coming up. If you do not have someone to process this difficult time with, then seek out professional counseling. Your teen does not need to be your best friend during this time, he or she is going through their own difficulties with this change and it’s not fair for them to have to take on your fears, concerns and worries as well.

DO NOT expect your teen to understand what you’re going through.

Try to implement this rule for your child: “You are not allowed to handle problems above your age.” For example, if your daughter is 14 years old, then she cannot worry about divorce, finances, or providing for the family. Her problems can only exceed a 14 year old’s problems…maybe even a 15 year old’s! But that is it. She can worry about grades, boys, and friends. But her security in her parents should not be altered no matter how the family changes.

DO NOT beat yourself up.

If you have made some of these mistakes, it’s ok! But make the effort now to provide a safe, comforting and healthy environment for your teen. He or she will be a better kid (and adult) because of it!
If you are noticing you or your teen struggling with this transition and needing additional support then call Life Counseling Solutions at 407-622-1770 or contact us here.
Author: DeAnn Maccloskey