Explaining Divorce To Your Adolescents

A mother talks to their child who appears upset. Learn how therapy for adolescents in Huntsville, AL can offer support via online therapy in Alabama. Learn more about the support a therapist in Huntsville, AL can offer.

The idea of divorce or separation is not a desire for most married couples. However, when children are in the mix, the decision to divorce can be even more difficult for the entire family. Children not only deal with the stress of their parents separating but also have to deal with transitions in their lives and a new reality. Adolescents are strong in many ways, but a divorce can harm their mental and emotional health if not approached appropriately. 

How Divorce Can Affect Adolescents

The truth is that divorce does impact young children in many different ways. Kids may feel angry and unseen during a divorce. Their entire world is shifting and becoming unbalanced. Anger has no specific age limit but typically presents more with school-aged children and teenagers. Some children will even blame themselves for their parent’s divorce.

A teacher points to a chalkboard in front of a class of school-aged children. Learn how therapy for adolescents in Huntsville, AL can offer support via online therapy in Alabama. Learn more about the support a therapist in Huntsville, AL can offer.

Placing the blame on themselves usually happens when the divorcing parents begin to point fingers at one another.

It is emotionally more manageable for children to accept the separation if they feel they are to blame for the divorce. They unintentionally take on the situation’s responsibility, creating less chance for them to resent either parent. It subconsciously aids them in keeping their relationships intact with each parent. 

The opposite may also occur; they may choose to side with one parent over the other. This situation can become difficult for everyone involved. When parents divorce, children go through what is known as the “loyalty conflict.” They are uncomfortable and stuck in the middle of the separation. 

Children need clarification when deciding to choose between one parent or the other. With younger children, this presents through physical pain and discomfort. Usually, older children and teens may have an all-around break in contact with the parent they did not side with out of loyalty to the other.

How To Tell Your Children About The Divorce

Parents sit with their teen on a park bench. This could represent informing your child of a divorce. Learn how therapy for adolescents in Huntsville, AL can offer support by contacting a therapist in Huntsville, AL, or searching for teenage therapists near Huntsville, AL.

Divorce is not an easy situation to experience, but it is imperative to talk to your children about the separation. Although you and your partner may have reached a final decision, your children may feel that the divorce is coming randomly. Including them in an open and honest conversation encourages their understanding of the situation.

  • Bring up the topic a few weeks before the divorce begins. Doing this will allow your young children and teens time to process. 
  • They will have many questions, so discuss a concrete plan with your partner before communicating it with your children. 
  • The conversation should take place with little to no distractions. Ensuring your children feel safe, seen, and heard during this conversation is essential. 
  • Reassure them that the divorce is not because of them. Resist the urge to overshare the reasons for the split, but encourage them to continue loving each parent freely.
  • Keep the floor open for the free expression of feelings. Please remind your children that feeling many things during this time is expected. Assist them with navigating through those emotions by supporting their needs at that time. If the divorce occurs during the school year, informing your children’s teachers is crucial. Often, children build relationships with the adults in their schools. Those adults can also be a safe space for your children to express their emotions. Teachers can aid them in navigating the transition as well. 

A family cheers their cups together around a dinner table. Learn how therapy for adolescents in Huntsville, AL can offer support with family bonds by contacting a therapist in Huntsville, AL, or searching for teenage therapists near Huntsville, AL.

You Are Not Alone

Divorce and separation can be difficult, but they are a reality for some. The two adults involved will have to transition into new lives as well. It is easy to forget about others during such a tumultuous situation. These are times when kids feel the most unseen or forgotten about.

Try and set an amicable example for your children during the transition. Show them that they will still have both parents there and that they are loved no matter what. Seeing you and your partner appropriately co-parenting encourages the children to respond with less resentment.

It may take a village of support beyond what you two can do alone. Counseling and therapy sessions also encourage healthy transitions for your children. This can be done with a one-on-one session between your child and a licensed therapist. You could also consider family counseling sessions to show your children they have your support.

Begin Therapy for Adolescents in Huntsville, AL

Never feel ashamed to give your children as much support as possible, especially in difficult situations. Here are Aspire Counseling and Consulting Services; we have a fantastic team of clinicians and counselors to help you with these concerns. I hope that this has been helpful, and have a blessed day. You can start your therapy journey by following these simple steps:

  1. Contact Aspire Counseling 
  2. Meet with a caring counselor for teens
  3. Start receiving the support your teen deserves

Other Services Offered with Aspire Counseling

Therapy for teenagers isn’t the only service our team offers. We know that there are multiple mental health concerns you may experience. This is why we are happy to offer a variety of services including marriage and couples counseling, individual counseling, anger management therapy, anger management classes, and depression therapy. We also offer support with continuing education, overcoming eating disorders, and offer online clinical supervision for social workers. Visit our blog or FAQfor more helpful info! If you need more information about our rates, accepted insurance, and services or are ready to begin counseling services, please do not hesitate to call or visit our blog for more information.

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1955 Rideout Dr. Ste 400
Huntsville, AL 35806

(256) 212-0567

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