SHARING THE NEWS OF THE DIVORCE WITH YOUR TEENS
Divorce is rough on children at any age. Some people believe that teens can handle it better since they have a better understanding about what’s going on, but this single factor might make it difficult for them to accept. If you are planning on a divorce, you should set a plan for telling the teenagers in your home.
First, you and your ex should agree to tell the children together. Both parents should be present, and all the kids should be there. This ensures that everyone gets the same information. You should avoid telling one child before another because you will then have to ask them to keep it a secret until you speak to the other kids.
Second, be honest about what’s going on. Stick to the facts, but don’t overshare. The kids need to know that you will still be a parenting team and that they didn’t do anything to cause the divorce. Try to give them an idea of what the schedule will be like, but don’t promise to do anything unless you are sure you will be able to do it.
Third, let the teens know that you will be there for them. They might be concerned about having both parents at major events like their high school graduation. You might need to address this right away so that they know that both parents will be around for these events even if it means they have to be around each other.
One way that you can help your children adjust to the divorce is to set the parenting plan as quickly as possible. This gives everyone involved the foundation to know what’s going to happen.