Most parents of teens can tell you that every day is full of ups and downs—but what happens when an impending divorce turns your already-emotional teen into a powder keg? Psychologists say that it’s normal for teens to become angry during divorce, but there are ways to help them cope. Your Durham divorce lawyer might even be able to recommend a few local professionals who can help.
Why Teens Explode
Let’s set aside the natural physiological changes teens go through and look at their emotional capabilities. They haven’t yet earned the emotional maturity that we, as adults, have; on the other side of the coin, they’re too old for what they consider “kid stuff.”
Being a teen is awkward, remember? Couple that with the questions they’re asking themselves and you have a perfect storm. Your teens might be wondering:
- whether they had anything to do with your divorce.
- where they’ll live (and whether they’ll have to change schools).
- what their friends will think.
- whether they’ll be doomed to divorce as well.
What You Can Do to Help
In many cases, having a heart-to-heart can work wonders. If you haven’t yet broken the news to your teenaged children, consider presenting a united front with your ex and telling them together; if they already know, make yourself available to answer questions and provide security.
No matter how old your kids are, they still need to know that your love for them will remain constant. Let them know you’re willing to talk and that you’ll give them the most honest answers you can. Refrain from bashing your ex when they’re within earshot, because that usually causes kids to feel anger and bitterness toward one or both parents.
How Your Durham Divorce Lawyer Can Help
Sometimes it’s helpful to talk to an impartial third party—either as a family or one-on-one. Your Durham divorce lawyer might be able to refer you to a local counselor or therapist who can help your teen cope with the stresses of divorce. If your child has been exposed to domestic violence, your lawyer might suggest therapy for your whole family. As long as your children know you love them and you’re going to weather the storm together, you’ll all come out fine in the end.