Teenagers often have to carry the stereotype of being difficult communicate
with and challenging parents in a variety of different ways. During
an uncontested Pennsylvania divorce, being able to talk and listen with your teenager can make a substantial
difference on how he or she handles changes in the family. Although your
teenager may seem to be leaving you out of her personal life, it's
important that you make time to discuss
your uncontested divorce and help the grieving and healing process.
Your teenager may know more about your divorce than you think. Remember
they live in the house too, and can easily overhear conversations and
notice changes in behavior. As soon as you have decided you are going
through with your uncontested Pennsylvania divorce, you should let your
teenager know. If you wait, it can drive a stake of mistrust between you.
Consider your surroundings when you tell your teenager about your uncontested
divorce. Be sure it's a private place, this will help your son or
daughter from feeling embarrassed and will allow them to start processing
their emotions. Furthermore, it's ideal to have both parents speak
with the teenager. Doing this demonstrates that he or she is still loved
and will continue to be loved by both parents.
After you have had the initial discussion with your son or daughter make
sure you continue to check-in. This not only means with him or her, but
check-in with others who are in his or her life. Generally, it's a
good idea to let teachers and other adults in your teenager's life
know about the transition they are going through.
A helpful way of getting learning more about how your teenager feels is
to ask open-ended questions. This means asking questions that have more
than a "yes" or "no" answer. Don't give your teen
the easy out of avoiding a conversation by just giving you a one or two
word answer. Think about how you pose questions. For example,
"How do you feel about
"[fill in the blank]
", is a good way to start to get some feedback and is an open ended question.
Don't get discouraged if you don't get the interaction you hope
for at first. At times you will get answers like "I don't care",
when teens really do care about your divorce. Take everything they are
communicating to you into account. What is your teen's body language
saying? What is his or her tone of voice?
This is not a time to put pressure on your teen. He or she will need time
to process the news. Be honest, teens appreciate this and it builds trust.
However, being honest doesn't mean that your teen has to know every
detail of your uncontested divorce.
Make an additional effort to give your son or daughter positive feedback.
During this stage in a teen's life, it is vital to support the development
of the self-esteem in positive ways. Moreover, focusing on positives helps
detract from the negatives which come with an uncontested divorce.
Communication with a teenager is a process. Let your son or daughter know
that you are there for them whenever they need to talk. Just knowing this
gives a teenager an added sense of security.