Helping Teens Cope With Divorce

I came across a great article at the Divorce Saloon concerning how parents with teenagers can help their children deal with divorce.  Towards the bottom of the article the author, Brenda Monteau, provides these five tips:

1) Set boundaries. Just because you are divorced doesn’t mean that you allow your teen to do whatever he or she wants. Don’t let your guilt of “breaking up the family” get in the way of parenting. Just because teens are older than younger kids doesn’t mean they don’t need boundaries, or that they don’t need their parents to act like parents.

2. Consider family counseling: It could benefit teens a lot if both parents would cooperate long enough to submit to family counseling, post-divorce. Having that third party who can listen to all sides and suggest tips and strategies for dealing with the transition will be good for everyone in the family.

3. Use technology to your advantage: Non-custodial parent can get plugged in to technology in order to maintain a relationship with their teen. Actually even custodial parents may find that the teen’s busy schedule and theirs does not provide enough one-on-one time. So use cell phones, social networking, skype and even GPS technologies to keep in touch and keep close. Sending a simple text, “luv u” takes less than a minute and can make a big difference in your teen’s day.

4. Don’t commit “parental alienation”: Sometimes parents are so angry with each other, they bring the children into it and badmouth the other parent so much, that they end up alienating the child’s affection for the other parent. First of all, in most if not all states, this can cause you to lose custody. So don’t do it. But why add stress and toxicity to an already difficult situation for your teen? The divorce is hard enough. It is a tough adjustment. Now you are saying stuff in front of the child that confuses his or her relationship with the other parent. You do this to win favor with the child and to somehow reduce your grief. But it is selfish. It damages the child. Don’t do it.

5. Stay in touch with your teen’s school and other social networks:Again, just because your teen is a bit older doesn’t mean you tune out as a parent and you don’t know what is  going on with them socially. You are a parent whether you are divorced or not. A teen is still a child and needs guidance and boundaries. One of the main areas to keep on top of is school. Make sure to stay in touch with teenagers, check on homework, speak with parents of friends and attend school functions just as if you were still married. Keep the non-custodial parent informed, by simply sending an email or text (if you don’t want to talk) about what is going on with your child at school.

If you have questions regarding divorce or child custody and you are looking to retain a Tampa Bay divorce lawyer, you may schedule a consultation with The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A. by calling us at (813) 443-0615 or filling out our contact form.


About Adam B. Cordover, Attorney-at-Law

Family Diplomacy is dedicated to helping clients restructure their families privately and respectfully. We practice exclusively in out-of-court dispute resolution, with a focus on collaborative divorce and family law, mediation, direct negotiations, and unbundled legal services. We maintain this out-of-court practice because we strongly believe that family disputes should be resolved in a private conference room, not in a hostile and public courtroom environment. This unique perspective on family law stems back to Adam B. Cordover’s experience studying International Affairs in Washington, D.C., and abroad. Adam had the rare opportunity to work closely with ambassadors and diplomats from war-torn regions around the world. He traveled around the globe, learning from diplomatic leaders as they applied dispute resolution techniques to tackle seemingly impossible conflicts. It dawned on him: If these techniques can work in the complex world of International Relations, why not Domestic Relations and Family Law? This realization lead Adam to create an exclusively out-of-court practice and to bring a more peacemaking approach to family law. In his previous role as a litigation attorney, Adam witnessed parties experience the negative emotional and financial effects that long, drawn out divorce battles can have on families. As a result, Adam has become a strong proponent of the Collaborative Process, where a structure is put in place so that life’s hardest moments do not have to be any more difficult than necessary. A thought leader in the international collaborative law community, Adam successfully spearheaded an effort of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit to draft an administrative order safeguarding the principles of collaborative family law (just the fourth such administrative order in Florida). Adam has been featured in or interviewed about collaborative practice by the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald, Tampa Bay Business Journal, Florida Bar News, NBC, Fox 13, Bay News 9, ABC Action News, The World of Collaborative Practice Magazine, and Spirit FM 90.5. Adam regularly speaks at professional and civic organizations locally and internationally regarding the collaborative process. Adam B. Cordover is president of Next Generation Divorce, a 501(c)(3) and Florida’s largest interdisciplinary collaborative practice group with member attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties. Adam is also on the Executive Board and co-chair of the Research Committee of the Collaborative Family Law Council of Florida. Further, Adam is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Leadership Academy of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. You can learn more about us and our services at Attorney Adam B. Cordover is admitted to the Florida Bar and the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida. His office is located at 412 East Madison Street, Suite 824, Tampa, Florida 33602.
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