A teenager’s life is never an easy one, even more so when his or her parents are getting a divorce. They are already at the stage of their lives where they may find it challenging to understand the changes they are going through–and a divorce will only make things more difficult for them. Even though most teenagers are quite independent and don’t need a lot of attention, they most certainly need all your support and love during this challenging time.
How you can help your Teenager Cope with your Divorce
A divorce is never easy, especially for the couple, too. It can leave you emotionally drained and may even turn out to be an expensive process. And as a parent, you have an additional responsibility of taking care of your teenage children as you go through this change yourself. Here are some tips on how you can help your teenager cope with your divorce.
• A teenager already has many things changing in their lives, physically and mentally, so you need to ease them into the effects your divorce will have on your entire family. Make sure that you don’t put your teenager through a lot of changes in one go. Prepare them by discussing the imminent changes the divorce will bring so that none of it will come as a shock.
• Since you have a teenager, it’s natural for you to expect some amount of pushback during the divorce. Most teenagers feel a lot of denial, anger, and resentment, so it’s not uncommon for them to make angry comments, ignore you, or become more rebellious.
• You’re sure to experience a pandemonium of emotions as you’re the one going through the separation, but you’re expected to trudge through them and take care of yourself so that you can take care of your children during these trying times. Remember that you’re still a parent and don’t treat your teenager as your confidant or therapist and discuss any negative details of the divorce.
Helping your teen cope with your divorce can be quite the process, but it is something you have to do as a parent. Make sure you offer them plenty of love and support so all you can move forward with happier feelings.
Once the judge passes the decree of divorce, that doesn’t mean that the ties are completely cut between you and your spouse. You might have certain financial matters to discuss and assets to divide. You might have children, which may
require you to deal with your ex-spouse on a regular basis, so it is important to maintain a healthy and friendly relationship with your ex-spouse even after your divorce.
Here’s how you should treat your ex-spouse post divorce
Make sure to treat your ex-spouse with respect and dignity even if you struggle to remain in the same room with him/her. Especially in front of your children, it is important to handle your ex-spouse carefully and not show any sort of anger, resentment or hatred towards them in front of the children. Children tend to mimic or imitate the parent’s behavior, so once they observe you being hostile towards your ex-spouse they might repeat the same behavior. You may be divorced, but responsible parenting is still your duty.
Keep your new life personal and don’t involve your ex-spouse in your new personal life. If you’ve started a new job, moved into a new place or even started seeing someone new, it is advisable to keep your ex-spouse away from all these developments. Maintain a very neutral relationship with your ex-spouse so that you don’t accidentally start to have feelings for him or her all over again and get caught up in the same web.
Don’t show any ill feelings towards your ex-spouse, as this could influence the decision of the judge–if these feelings become known–when it comes to custody of the children and financial matters. Don’t try to dig too deep into the financial assets of your ex-spouse and leave all the ‘dirty work’ to your auditors and legal consultants after your divorce.
The New Hampshire Parenting Support Center’s (NHPSC) main objective is to assist families in difficult divorce transitions by providing them with a potential setting for neutral, supervised visitation. This week, we are addressing the benefits in using these impartial settings for supervised visitations for children and parents.
Typically, children are the main reason for people to use visitation centers. Most of these programs aim to provide a welcoming, fun and safe environment for the family unit. The unbiased atmosphere gives children the chance to be excited about visitations, since anxiety and potential parental confrontations are avoided. The visit becomes about maintaining the relationship, and not about the court proceedings. Seeing both parents help children to adjust positively in the divorce process, even with the family dissolution.
The parents benefit from supervised visitations also. Visitation details are typically made through agencies, so the parents do not have to have any direct contact with each other. This can be a stress reducer in a highly stressful situation. In heated divorce hearings, supervised visitations are often sought because the parents can visit with the children without worries that false allegations will be presented in the divorce proceedings. Case notes may be written and can potentially be used as character witness reports.
Using a professional third-party visitation agency, such as New Hampshire Parenting Support Center, is beneficial over using a friend or relative. Using someone you know can put strain on the relationship. It may also be hard for your ex-spouse and you to agree on the same person. A third-party agency will provide unbiased, and properly documented, support. Your lawyer may have resources for local agencies that specialize in supervised visitations. If they are court mandated, it is recommended your lawyer and potential visitation agency both review the visitation documents to make sure all needs are properly met.
NHPSC expands to help families experiencing divorce
Having recently relocated to their new space in Dover, the New Hampshire Parenting Support Center (NHPSC) has expanded its capacity to assist families experiencing a divorce. Specializing in cases that require court intervention, NHPSC now offers supervised visitation for children and parents in a more comfortable and home-like environment as a result of its move.
“Our new facility helps to enhance the therapeutic aspect of our services,” said NHPSC Co-Founder Nancy Blais, who cited strong ties to the court and mental health system. “We are a known entity among many judges, so our goal now is to work more closely with mental health centers and hospitals who may be able to refer our services to families in need.”
Certified as a Guardian ad Litem since 2005, Blais has a Masters of Education in Guidance and Counseling and has served in divorce, guardian cases and abuse/neglect and termination of parental rights cases in Strafford and Rockingham County. She is joined by Co-Founder Chris Burns, principal attorney of Burns Legal Services. Burns experience includes both civil and criminal cases in a variety of courts, including the New Hampshire Supreme Court.
“We will even go into the home and meet with parents and children on ‘their turf’ if they can’t or don’t want to come to the Center,” Burns added. “We are committed to reunifying families and serving as a resource for southern New Hampshire and Maine…Divorce does not have to be so painful.”