Most parents begin a divorce with one main concern: minimizing the impact of the divorce on their children. Often, they incline to say as little as possible in hopes of shielding the child from the truth. But silence can be misinterpreted, and kids often end up with more questions and worries if a parent doesn’t discuss divorce matters.
It is much better to talk about divorce with your kids, being as open as honest as possible while still being respectful of the other parent. Here are some tips for telling your teen about the divorce.
Tell Your Teen Together
Teens are at a unique age. While they crave the independence of being with their friends, they still very much need stability. Your message should help reassure them that they’ll still have two loving parents, even if things are changing.
You and your spouse should tell your teen together, if at all possible. That way, your teen hears the same message from both of you and is surrounded by both parents during a challenging time.
Pick the “Right” Time and Place to Talk About the Divorce
There’s no one “right” place to deliver the news, but it’s important to think of your child’s best interests when deciding when and where.
Since it may take your teen a while to process the information, consider telling them on a Friday evening or just before a school break. That way, your teen will have a few days before facing the next long day of high school—with all the pop quizzes, grueling sports practices and social drama that comes with it.
Tailor Your Message to Teenagers
When you’re talking about divorce (or any important topic), tailor your message to the child’s age. For a teen, this often means focusing on how the divorce will affect them. Teens want to know things like:
● Who they’ll live with
● Whether they’ll have to move
● If they’ll have to change schools
● What arrangements will be made for family pets
● What their friends may think
● How household rules will be enforced
Talk to Your Teen & Your Lawyer
At the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., we can guide you through the divorce process and be by your side every step of the way, from the initial filings and conversations with your loved ones to the final order for divorce and beyond. To talk confidentially about your options, call our Fort Worth, Texas, law office at 817-755-1852 or send us a message.