Dealing with Your Parents' Divorce as a Teenager

Dealing with your parents' divorce is tough, especially for teens.

No matter how old you might be, facing your parents' divorce is never easy. As a teenager, it can be even more challenging. Your emotions may already be running all over the place with everything you have going on at school, with friends, or in your own relationships. Yet the situation in your home may only add to or amplify the stress you're already feeling. If you're dealing with your parents' divorce as a teenager, remember these six important points.

It was never your fault - Witnessing the end of your parents' relationship can be one of the hardest things you'll have to go through, but never forget that it wasn't your fault. Relationships are complicated, no matter how long people have been together. Parents separate because of issues that are just between them. You and the things you've done or haven't done didn't cause their separation.

Don't let anger get the best of you - The anger you feel towards your parents for not staying together can affect you greatly. It is okay to feel angry, but try to remember not to let it control you or impact your life for the worse. Keep up with school and other any work, and stay involved with the activities you love to do. If you are feeling frustrated with friends or peers in ways you hadn't before, remember that it might not be them you are frustrated at. Take a breath and move forward. Be fair to yourself and to those around you by not letting anger get the best of you.

Don't be their go-between - Sometimes, parents want their children to send messages for them between homes. Know that this is not your responsibility. Your parents should have a handle on how they plan to manage their communication without involving you. 

Talk to your parents - Don't keep your parents in the dark about how you are feeling. Let them know what you're experiencing emotionally throughout as your family faces changes. It's okay to tell your parents that you are angry or sad, even if you think that might make them feel bad. They are there for you and want to know how you are doing. Talk to them about how things are going today, and let them know what you want for your family as you all move forward. Betting on your parents getting back together in the future may not be an outcome to count on, but desiring happiness and well-being for everyone, plus a friendly standing between your two homes, are goals that many families can achieve. 

Talk to your close friends - The people that love you go farther than just your family. Your close friends care about you and want to know how you are feeling or what is bothering you. Even though it might be hard to talk about with some friends, don't keep your close ones in the dark. Tell them what is going on and how you are feeling. Their support during this difficult transition could be an outstanding help to you.

Talk to an expert - This might be something you feel uncomfortable with at first, but it can truly be a huge help. If you're having a hard time managing your emotions—even if you are talking to your parent and your friends—there are other people who can help. Your school counselor or a local therapist can be great people to talk to during tough times. They may even provide you with helpful insights and tips for managing your emotions.

When dealing with your parents' divorce as a teenager, do your best to stay positive. Your parents may have divorced because they were not happy together, so now living apart might help them achieve the happiness that they deserve. Face the tough emotions you're experiencing so that they don't get the best of you. Stay focused on your strengths and your goals for the future.