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How Can I Help My Teenager Cope During My Illinois Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

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Being a teenager can be tough. The wrong haircut or a break-up can feel like the end of the world, so the major life changes that teens will experience when their parents go through a divorce can be especially traumatizing. Studies show that slightly less than half of all marriages end in divorce in the United States, and a quarter of teens whose parents divorce will experience emotional issues. Generally speaking, getting a divorce with children makes the split more complicated. Although a teenager will likely be able to conceptualize what a divorce means better than a younger child, the teen’s emotions may be more dramatic.

A divorce can be a turning point in any child’s life, and family changes can cause stress. A teen may develop anxiety and depression, or he or she may go through a phase involving substance abuse or poor grades. Every teen will react to divorce differently depending on their emotional maturity and family relationships. Recognizing signs that your teen is struggling during your divorce is important in order to help him or her cope with the transition. 

Open the Lines of Communication

A personality change is a huge sign that your teen is struggling. If your once bubbly, straight-A, family-oriented teen has become closed off and is failing classes, it may be time to discuss his or her feelings about the divorce. Consider the following tips and coping skills when speaking to your teen about your divorce: 

  • Be Available: It is easy to expect a teenager to not want anything to do with mom or dad. However, if parents do not make themselves available to their children, they may never have the opportunity to share their feelings. A teenager may be ashamed or scared to talk about how they feel. Let your child know that you support him or her by spending quality time together. Allow your teen to talk about the divorce in a safe space, and if he or she is not ready, make sure he or she knows you will always be there. 
  • Communicate: Having an older child during a divorce has advantages and disadvantages. Parents can discuss what will happen after a divorce, but decisions may be harder to come to with a child who is almost an adult if they have strong opinions. To keep everyone on the same page, communicate potential family changes before they happen. This will prevent any surprises or ill feelings that life is changing without a teenager’s consent. Changes are easier to handle when there is preparation and no surprises. 

Being open and honest can go a long way in helping your teen through this difficult transition. Regardless of the age of your kids, you will need to draft a parenting plan that addresses issues such as child support and parenting time. That is why it is important to seek professional legal advice when considering a divorce with teenage children.  

Contact a Schaumburg Parenting Plan Lawyer

A divorce can be a daunting experience for any couple. If the spouses have teenagers, it can be an emotional rollercoaster. To give all of your children a sense of security after a divorce, contact an experienced Rolling Meadows divorce attorney at Anderson and Associates, P.C. We can help you navigate the legal proceedings and reach a positive outcome. Call our office today at 847-995-9999 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/divorce.html

https://www.verywellfamily.com/effects-of-divorce-on-teens-2609530

 

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