Informing your children about your separation is often one of the most difficult parts of getting divorced. It can be especially challenging to tell your teenager, as they may feel the effects of divorce deeper than a young child.
Teenagers are known to feel emotions deeply and react strongly. Therefore, it’s important that you and your ex are prepared for the conversation about divorce and approach it together.
Teenagers are old enough to realize what’s realistic and what is not. It may not be helpful to tell them that nothing will change or everything is alright, when that’s simply not their reality right now. You can be gentle while still providing them with facts and honest expectations about the following days and weeks.
Keep a brave face.
Your teenager may look to you for a reaction when you inform them of the divorce. Try your best to stay composed and positive for their sake. They may get angry and scream, or break down and cry. You should stay patient and calm while they get these emotions out.
Hear them out.
Your teen may have a lot of questions, and some may seem trivial or silly. But you should still take them seriously and answer them to the best of your ability. Any answers or reassurance you can provide may help them during this life-changing event.
After telling your teen, it may be helpful to let their teachers or school counselor know about the split. This would allow them to prepare for any unusual emotions during school. You should also keep your teen’s routine as steady as possible after telling them.
Talking with your teen about divorce may be hard, but it’s important to be honest and communicate effectively. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that they know you love and support them no matter what.