When contemplating divorce in Texas, you must tell family and friends about your decision. However, the most difficult conversation you will have is telling your teenage children. Consider the following before you discuss the situation with your teens.
Five tips for talking with your teens
Realize that when you have the divorce conversation, you may make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean you’re not good parents. Keep these tips in mind when making the announcement:
- Tell them together with your spouse
- Be adamant that they do not have to pick one parent’s side
- Focus on what won’t change for them
- Determine how to end the conversation
- Keep the lines of communication open by inviting questions
Presenting a united front in your family conversation is one of the most essential aspects. Indicate that staying in an unhappy marriage is not a good example to set. It’s also necessary to point out that life is full of unpleasant situations, and they should be sheltered from them.
Expect your teens to be upset. Give them time to digest the news. No two kids will react to the news in the same way. However, by leaving an open line of communication and indicating that they can continue to ask questions, you will keep your relationship with them and help ease the blow.
Protecting your relationship with your teenagers
Child custody issues are different for divorcing parents with teens. Your kids will soon be off to college, start to drive and get jobs. They may be involved in many activities, making it almost impossible to alternate visitation schedules with parents. You and your spouse must get creative with child custody arrangements.
Some divorcing parents actively involve their teenagers when working out parenting agreements. By asking their opinions on important matters, you’ll be able to act in their best interests. As they are still developing physically and mentally, you’ll want to help them as much as possible, but at the same time, they may have strong ideas on what may work. Give them a chance to help preserve your family dynamic.