How to Help Older Children Cope with Divorce

How to Help Older Children Cope with Divorce

Posted By R. Gregory Colvin LLC || 23-Sep-2016

Are you planning on divorcing your spouse with whom you share teenage children? While your main focus is probably on yourself, which is completely understandable, it is important not to overlook how the divorce is impacting your son or daughter. As you may already know, teens have a penchant for hiding and bottling their real emotions. If they tell you that they are fine or “don’t care” that you are divorcing, you might have to dig a little deeper for the truth.

If you need to talk to your teenager about your impending divorce, keep these tips in mind to make it easier:

  • Straightforward: Young children might not grasp the concept of marriage, much less divorce, so you may need to dance around the subject with them. For older children, they know the underlying concepts of both marriage and divorce, so you can be straightforward with them. Don’t say that your spouse is going to go live in a new house “for fun.” A teenager will not appreciate the dishonesty.
  • Details: When teenagers reach a certain age, they begin to gain a clearer understanding of the world regarding matters both good and bad. If your children are over the age of 16, they can probably comprehend and stomach some of the reasons why you are choosing to divorce. While you should still use a filter and pick your words carefully, it might be beneficial to be honest with your teenage children and let them know if there was infidelity, theft of marital property, heated arguments, and so on. You should not, however, divulge information with the intent to defame your spouse. No one benefits from creating an “enemy” figure in your family.
  • Open door policy: It cannot be stressed enough that you should tell your children, no matter how old and mature they can be, that your door will always be open if they have questions about your divorce as it progresses. Letting them know that they are free to vent their concerns or frustrations is critical to helping them cope with the emotions they are probably keeping from you. If your teen doesn’t bring up the divorce on their own, start quick follow-up conversations about once a week.

If you need help going through your divorce and talking to your older children, you can come to R. Gregory Colvin LLC for help. Our Orlando family law attorney has more than 25 years of legal experience dealing directly with divorce and all the issues that surround it. You will find that we are truly passionate about helping people find comfort and peace of mind during some of life’s hardest struggles.

Contact us today and we would be happy to tell you more.

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