Parenting teens can be tricky in the best of times. What happens, then, when you combine the emotional volatility of adolescence with the upheaval of divorce? The results are rarely pretty, and yet, if you’re like many couples, divorce may be the best path for your family.
The good news? Your divorce need not destroy your child’s teenage years. Many teens thrive, even as their parents deal with the fallout of dissolution. Ultimately, it all comes down to your parenting approach. Follow these tips to ensure the easiest possible transition:
Aim for Minimal Disruptions
Your teen faces enough emotional turmoil as it is. Take this into account as you plan for the future. Close friends and adult mentors are essential during this difficult time. Aim for a post-divorce living situation that allows your teen to maintain vital connections.
Give Your Teen a Say in Custody
In Minnesota, child preference can play a considerable role in custody designation. Whether your case is resolved through mediation or in court, your teen at least deserves a say in his or her future living situation — assuming your ex is a capable parent. Set your ego aside and let your teen know that you value his or her input.
Your teen may grieve the way things were; this is perfectly normal. Make it crystal clear that you’re willing to listen. Don’t be surprised, however, if your teen withdraws. Consider family therapy or individual counseling as options for helping your teen work through difficult emotions.
Your approach to divorce could play a huge role in how your teen handles the fallout. Let the law firm of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd. provide you with the same level of support you intend to provide your children. You’ll be glad to have such a loyal advocate in your corner.