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Being a teenager is a very tricky time in the life of any human being. Any change marks a turning point in the life of a teenager and could end up affecting them for life. When parents of a teenager divorce, many thoughts can run through the mind of a teenager. These thoughts can include questions such as, ‘why are my parents are divorcing’ or ‘could I be the reason for their separation,’ all of which brings confusion to the life of the teen. When this happens, the teen feels alone and unsure about life. Parents going through divorce may struggle with how to communicate to their children about it.
It can seem impossible to deal with such circumstances, especially if the family had lived an intact life in the past. However, all hope is not lost, even when such challenges arise.
Before moving forward, there is a need to answer some critical questions.
Why are my parents separating?
There could be several reasons that led to the annulment of the relationship, such as fighting, anger, infidelity, or having a feeling that the love is no longer there.
During such times, it becomes obvious there is no need to keep living together just for convenience.
Sometimes, it can be a costly affair to live together and even risky to one’s health in cases of alcohol or drug abuse or physical violence.
The next question is, how will my parents’ divorce affect my life?
According to Complete Case, in most cases of divorce, a teen’s life will change drastically. They may have to change the school they attend, start spending time with one parent only, and take a more active role managing the situation of the parent they are living with, as that parent may also be going through a hard time trying to cope with singleness and loneliness.
It can become a challenge knowing how to cope with the court’s arrangement in terms of custody and visitation with the other parent who has been denied child custody.
However, with all these factors in mind, there must be a way to see to it that the teen is able to cope with their parent’s divorce and still make their way through life. Let’s discuss how to cope with divorce as a teenager and come out of it stronger.
1. Assure yourself that their separation is not your fault.
It’s never easy to see parents separating, especially during your teen years when you are already struggling with the transition from childhood to adulthood. You are experiencing your first feelings of love at this time, but suddenly you see the same love being abused by divorce. But you should never carry the situation as a burden or take it as your fault. Every relationship has its challenges, which are often complicated. Whatever challenges the parents may be facing is no fault of the teen. You should not take it personally or feel that you were the cause of their parting.
2. Talk to your friends or close relatives about this issue.
It is often said that a problem shared is a problem half solved. This could also be true in this situation. Carefully choose friends or close family members that you value and share what you are going through with them. The genuine ones will, of course, be there for you. This is the reason why you should only pick people you are close with to confide in.
They will be able to walk with you, offer words of encouragement, and even provide you with some answers if they have gone through a similar situation and already overcame it.
If you have siblings, most of whom are younger than you, they may also be depending on your energy. Be there for them. Show them that they are not alone, and you are going through this together.
3. Do not allow anger to control your emotions.
It’s normal to feel angry when you see your parents staying in different houses and doing things separately, unlike what they used to do before. This alone can arouse anger and shatter one’s feelings a great deal. Learn to control your emotions because this is not your life but theirs.
If you allow emotions to take a toll on you and shut you down, many valuable opportunities may bypass you and affect your future. For example, if you miss lessons because you are in so much pain and cannot go to school it could cause your grades to slip, costing you the opportunity to attend a good college and enter a well-paying career.
Keep yourself involved in activities that engage your mind for the better part of the day. This will help you to clear your frustrations and keep your spirits up. Go for a swim with friends, plan for a hike with your siblings, and find ways to still experience life.
4. Engage your Parents.
The situation going on between your parents does not matter; the fact remains that they are your parents and will be there for you. Talk to them about the feelings you have regarding the situation. Share with them your disappointments and let them know that it is not a smooth experience from your side.
Engage them and let them know that you are concerned about the families’ welfare, and you want to see that there is a way forward to a brighter future.
One thing a teenager should not dwell on is the possibility of having the parents back together again. Accept that your parent’s relationship of the past is over and focus on your relationship with each parent in the present and future.
No matter much anger you may feel, be friendly. This approach will make you stronger and allow you to become a pillar despite the challenging situation around you.
5. Seek help from professional counselors.
You may not have a friend that you can rely on when seeking help, and that’s ok. But you do not have to deal with this situation alone, as emotions can overwhelm you and break your life. Many resources can offer professional help in a realistic manner, allowing you to get out of the situation with peace.
A psychologist or a social worker can help in this. If you are unsure of who to see, your general doctor can recommend somebody for you. You can also talk to your school counselor and let them know what you are going through.
All of these professionals are trained to help people deal with their emotions and get through difficult times. They will want the best for you, and to a greater extent, they will offer you professional help until you get through this challenging event.
6. Do not go in between your Parents’ issues.
Sometimes, parents want to settle their grudges using their children by involving them in their affairs. They may ask the children to become their messengers, which may break the relationship further. Do not allow yourself to be used by your parents to make an already bad situation worse. Let them handle their challenges on their own or involve lawyers to communicate on their behalf.
7. Look for ways of dealing with stress.
Seeing parents separate adds stress to one’s life. Some teenagers end up getting depressed and turn to harmful behaviors such as drug addiction. To manage the stress, look for a better way of spending the day. Find a new hobby like home gardening or a healthy outlet like physical activities or even visiting vulnerable teens. This will help you to manage your situation and suppress negative emotions.
Socialize with friends too. Go out dancing and let your energy be consumed by positive things in your life.
Dealing with your parent’s divorce is never easy. To be able to live a peaceful life, maintain a neutral position. You will still need both of your parents later. Avoid isolating yourself and dwelling too much on this situation when other duties need your attention.
Remain honest and never feel alone. You are not in this situation on your own, and you will get out of it eventually. How you deal with your parents divorce can be a turning point for you not only as a teenager, but later in life when you are a responsible parent yourself.