If you are a man approaching the age of 50 and divorce is on the horizon then you don’t have to despair. There are so many things that go through your head and your life when a marriage breaks down. Teenage children of divorced parents needn’t necessarily end up in a painful position. If you manage things right then the breakup doesn’t have to mean a breakdown for teenage children of divorced parents at all.
Communication is crucial. If you are in this position then always keep those lines of talk open so you can speak and listen to what is going on in their world. But not everything in the way of talk is going to be positive. There are some areas that you should know won’t be helpful. Here is our guide to making it as painless as possible for teenage children of divorced parents – let’s go!
Conversation With Teenage Children of Divorced Parents
Teenage children are an odd breed at times! Here are the things you should avoid in conversation –
- Don’t expect then to be your spy. There will be parts of your ex’s life that I’m sure you would love to know about. But remember that it really isn’t your teenage child’s place in the world to do this legwork for you. In fact, there are things that you just won’t know about your ex any more. Asking questions of children of divorced parents puts them right in the middle – and that isn’t the kind of protection they need.
- Don’t criticise your ex. The breakup will be painful enough for your child. If it was preceded by arguments then they may already be painfully aware of the flaws you and your ex see in each other. Criticising their other parent (one of the two people they probably trust most in the world) does nobody an favours. My mum always says, “if you can’t say anything nice then don’t say anything at all.” I think that’s great advice here.
- Don’t ask them to be your messenger. Passing messages between you and your ex isn’t the role your child wants in life. Teenage children of divorced parents have enough going on without asking them to ‘pass a message to your mother.’ You and your ex can sort this out among yourselves. As a man approaching the age of 50, you should let your teenage child enjoy their time with their mother.
- Don’t expect them to be your therapist. Teenage children of divorced parents my be old enough to understand a lot of what is going on. But unloading your anxieties on them is a step too far. Remember all along that you are the parent and they are the child. This relationship needs to stay that way. If you need someone to talk to then give your mate a call and go to the pub. Don’t expect your child to be your therapist.
Teenage children of divorced parents need support and protection. Don’t make these mistakes and help them to work their own way through the break up.