We’re here to offer you help and advice on how to deal with the difficulties of divorce…
Parents getting divorced can be a traumatic and harrowing experience for people of any age, but it can be especially hard on teenagers. You’re already trying to handle changes to your body, yo-yo emotions, and all the challenges that come with being a teenager – now you have all the stresses and upset that come with your parents getting divorced to deal with, too.
Dealing With Divorce
There may be arguments happening at home or tensions running throughout the family which lead to you feeling upset, frustrated or even angry. It’s perfectly normal to have a range of feelings about the situation but the main thing to always remember is that people split for many reasons, but it is never your fault.
Dealing with divorce can be incredibly stressful for everyone in the family. Each person in your family may handle their emotions differently but one thing you can all do to reduce frictions and upset is to communicate:
- Talk to your family about how you’re feeling. Share your worries and concerns to get the support you need during this difficult time.
- Listen to your family members’ as they have listened to you and try to support them in any way you can. A simple hug, for example, can go a long way to making a younger sibling feel better.
- Ask questions. You probably have a lot of questions around the separation and are unsure of what is going to happen next. Some things might be sad to hear, but it can reduce your levels of anxiety when you have more clarity about the situation.
- If you don’t feel able to speak up, or would prefer not to, write it down in a letter. Sometimes it can be easier to communicate the things we want to say by putting pen to paper.
It Takes Time
It’s a cliché but it’s true that this situation can get better in time. It can feel very turbulent in the beginning, especially when feelings are raw. There are a lot of complicated feelings and relationships involved when parents are getting divorced and it will take time for everyone involved to deal with their individual experiences.
It might also take time for the practical aspects of separation to take place, such as a parent moving out and into a new place, or for custody arrangements to be put in place. These situations are unlikely to be fixed overnight and it’s perfectly normal to feel frustrated, but things can settle eventually.
When Things Get Messy…
Sometimes, divorces can get messy and complicated. Very often, children can feel stuck in the middle, torn between the two people they love most in the world. This can lead to feelings of stress, pressure, and even guilt, as you try to strike the unfair balance of keeping both parents happy.
Talk to your parents about how the situation is making you feel or ask another family member to speak on your behalf. Being honest is the best way to let your parents know how their behaviour is affecting you.
You and your family may need further support in dealing with divorce. Your doctor may be able to put you in touch with a therapist or you can talk to your school counsellor if one is available to you.
Talk to a Childline counsellor: 0800 11 11
Divorce and Separation: https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/home-families/family-relationships/divorce-separation/