Divorce is a difficult time for all members of the affected Florida family. Teenagers might attempt to present a strong front, but this might be covering up their struggles. Parents however, can support their teens through their divorce, by being aware of the signs of struggle and offering them a safe, supporting space.
Ways teens can be affected by divorce
There are many ways teens can be affected by divorce. Some are easy to spot but others might take more observation to identify. Some of them include:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Behavioral struggles at school
- Defiance at home
- Falling grades
- Emotional outbursts, such as anger or intense sadness
- Sudden conflicts with parents, siblings, relatives and friends
When teens are struggling with their parents’ divorce, they might also engage in risky behavior that can cause additional problems. Some of these behaviors include substance abuse and sexual activity.
Supporting your teen
Offering support to your teen is crucial. Even if you are struggling yourself, you should avoid using your teen to vent about the other parent or becoming overdependent on them to help you take care of younger siblings, for example. However, you can show your teen support in a variety of ways, including:
- Keeping an open, honest line of communication
- Showing genuine interest in their lives and activities
- Finding activities you both enjoy that you can do together
- Offering professional mental health support, such as with a professional therapist, if needed
In many cases, parents of teens will have to face their teen’s wide-raging emotions through the process as they can experience grief, anger, fear and sadness for what they are losing and what is to come. However, remaining steadfast in your support and love can help your teen overcome this struggle to reach emotional health once again.