Parents going through a divorce often try to think of ways that they can help their children get through the process. One of the factors to consider when in the midst of your divorce is your children’s ages. Helping a preschooler understand what’s going on is much different than supporting a teenager during a difficult transition.
Teenagers of divorcing parents typically pick up on more tension and stressors than younger children. This can create a far different set of problems than those that younger siblings face. Still, it is quite possible to help teens thrive during divorce.
Focus on the positive aspects
Divorce is difficult, but it is important that the teen doesn’t focus only on the negative aspects of the changes. Try to help them discover some of the positive changes the teen may encounter. For example, having to move between two homes might not be ideal. However, sometimes having a change of scenery can be welcome. It may behoove you to speak to your teen frequently to determine what challenges, if any, they may be facing.
Create consistency from the start
Children of all ages need as much consistency as possible. While it might be tempting to let rules slide in the early days of the divorce, this isn’t what’s best for the kids. Instead, set the rules for your home and get the parenting plan drafted and implemented as soon as is practical. This provides stability for the children when other aspects of their lives are changing a lot.
Anyone with a child custody matter involving a teen before the court should remember that it is often challenging to establish visitation and custody matters. Many teens have very busy schedules, so finding ways that their activities can be accommodated should be a priority. Typically, this is easier when the co-parents can work as a team, so let that be a common goal for you and your ex.