Teens - family communication & divorce

* FAMILY COMMUNICATION – Positive family communication is absolutely based on a respectful atmosphere where you actually listen to what each other has to say. It's easy to feel that with of your years of experience you know what's best. This may be true! But the quickest way to stop the flow of family conversation is to always be right without listening to watch your team has to say.


An atmosphere of blame will also prevent good communication. If every time something goes wrong, a plate is broken, a mug is left on the coffee-table, etc., a culprit has to be found than this can actually generate a very negative atmosphere. Yes people have to take responsibility for their actions, but pointing the finger of blame at every tiny little incident can take things too far.


* DIVORCE - Divorce is a traumatic time for everyone. On the whole research shows that younger children fare better than the pre-teens and adolescents. For one thing, young children don't understand as much and their time frames are different to older children. For example, if they haven't seen daddy for a few days they may not even notice!


Pre-teens and teens are also become very anxious that if they've been causing stresses and strains that this may have contributed to the marriage breakdown. They even fear they might be the root cause of the divorce. It's imperative that any child is told clearly, and more than once, that a divorce is not their fault.


Keep the lines of communication open and tell your teen that they can ask you what ever they want, whenever they want.


Don't shy away from their questions. If you answer with tact and confidence you generate a more confident feeling in them.


Give age appropriate information. What you tell a 13 year-old may be different than what you tell you 17 year-old.


Do not run down your ex-partner to your children.


Let their school know that they're "going through" a divorce. Research shows that schoolwork particularly in teenage boys suffers during a divorce. So as well as their emotional well-being you want their teachers to keep an eye out for their academic performance.


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