How Dads Can Help Their Teenagers Cope with Divorce – Part 1

August 8th, 2016

Although your teenagers may look like adults, they are still children, and will need your help coping with divorce. Our Portland OR family law attorney is here to help.

Divorced man reassuring his crying daughterWe’ll start by asking a simple question.

Is it better to have your parents divorce when you’re a young child and you don’t know what’s going on? Or is it better to have them divorce when you’re a teenager and you understand the world a bit better?

The answer is that it doesn’t matter. Experiencing your parents’ divorce at any age is difficult, emotional, and frustrating.

As a dad, you may think your teenage child has the maturity to cope with your divorce, but often times, they don’t. Sure, they have better tools than when they were of Sesame Street age, but they still need your help.

Here’s a few reasons why teenagers present a challenge when it comes to your divorce:

  • Teenagers can be judgmental.
  • Despite becoming more independent, teenagers still need their parents.
  • Teenage brains are still developing.

Below are some tips on how you can help your teenage children cope with your divorce.

Don’t Use Your Teen as a Therapist

If you need to talk about the emotional aspects of your divorce do it with a friend, family member, or counselor. Don’t use your teen as an impromptu therapist. It’s best not to expose them to the drama of your divorce, and they might feel uncomfortable being dad’s confidant.

Don’t Insult Their Mother (Your Ex-Wife) When They’re Around

As hard as it might be, don’t insult your teenager’s mother (your ex-wife) in their presence. Your teenager is experiencing enough loyalty issues. Your animosity will only confuse them more.

When it comes to your ex-wife, it may be hard to bite your tongue, but it will pay off in the long run. Your offspring will respect you more in the future for your silence in the past.

To read part two of this series click here.

Contact Portland Family Law Attorney Ronald Johnston here for more information about divorce and child custody issues.

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