Everyone knows that divorce is hard on some children, but most people worry about the emotional health of young children and toddlers. Many teens have mastered the art of hiding their emotions, but it is safe to say that divorce can affect them as much as it does younger kids.
Amid the chaos of divorce, the psychological health of teenagers can suffer as they struggle to cope with a parental breakup. As parents, you and your ex want to help your teens, but you might not know how to start.
First, identify possible problems
As stated previously, some teenagers can hide their feelings well, especially those deemed negative or troubling. Watch for the signs below if you feel your teen is struggling with their emotions.
- Exhibits extreme behavioral changes (lying, stealing, etc.)
- Develops physical issues (headaches, stomachaches, etc.)
- Displays intense mood swings (for longer than a few days)
- Overreacts to emotional triggers (tantrums, emotional outbursts, etc.)
Your teen may also have trouble sleeping if they are unable to cope with their post-divorce feelings.
Tips to help your teen cope
Positive and cooperative co-parenting can do much to help your teenager survive and thrive after the divorce. As a bonus, it can also reduce the odds of child custody disputes erupting between you and your ex. Other tips include:
- Take time to listen when they want to talk
- Promote the bond between your teen and your ex
- Take the concerns and feelings they express seriously
- Model self-care by addressing your own mental and physical needs
Remember that you can modify your child custody and parenting plan if it fails to meet your children’s needs or if it causes disputes between you and your co-parent. We also recommend learning more about North Carolina child custody to promote healthy bonds between your kids and both parents.