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Keeping your teen happy during divorce: 3 tips

A divorce is hard on the couple going through it, but it's also hard on their children, family and friends. If you have a teen, then you know that he or she may be extremely sensitive to this topic. Your child might have child custody concerns or be against the divorce completely.

As a parent, you need to make time for your teen, so you can explain your divorce in an appropriate way. Here are three ways you can make your teen more comfortable while you finalize your divorce.

1. Listen to what your teen has to say

It's unfortunately common for teens to believe that their parents' divorces are their fault. It's a good idea to sit down with your teen to talk about how he or she feels about the divorce. Give him or her time to talk, and vent, while keeping an open mind. You want to show that you're still going to be present in your child's life and that you are willing to listen without ignoring your child's feelings. Your teen may have concerns about divorce that you can alleviate, so talking is the first way to break through barriers.

2. Encourage your teen to do things he or she enjoys

The next thing to remember is that teens are often ready to explore their independence. It can get a little tricky when there is only one parent in the home, but don't let your fears about what your teen might get up to stop you from allowing him or her to do the things he or she enjoys. Encourage your teen to spend times with friends and to participate in healthy activities.

3. Prepare for an adjustment and be ready to be flexible

No matter how much you talk about it, nothing prepares you for the moment a divorce is final. There is always an adjustment phase, and you should expect your teen to go through one, too. He or she may say things that are insensitive or inappropriate, but try to remember that your child is hurting.

Try not to be too hard on your teen, and be flexible if he or she doesn't want to spend as much time with you as you'd hoped. Your teen will get used the these new arrangements.

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