Saturday, May 1, 2010

How Teenagers React

"I had three teenagers at the time of my separation and divorce, fourteen, sixteen, and eighteen," shares Cindy. "One was very angry. Another one went into a depression. Another one acted out with her behavior. Everybody handled the divorce and the separation differently."

Teenage children can be profoundly affected by divorce. Some parents think their teenage children are old enough to understand the situation and that they are coping without any major difficulty. Do not be fooled into thinking this. Take time for regular, honest discussions with your children.

Plan these talks to take place at a consistent location, somewhere free from distractions. Your teenager will know immediately if you are not giving him or her your full attention and may resent it. These talks can develop into opportunities where he or she feels safe enough to express fears, hurts, and disappointments that would otherwise be kept inside or come out as a torrent of angry words. Know what is going on inside your child; don't make assumptions based on outward appearance or based on first responses to your questions.

If your teenage children refuse to open up to you, then encourage them to talk with a third party, someone you can trust to give godly counsel and love. Tell them you hope they will be able to talk with you at some point as well, and continue to provide one-on-one time and to build up the relationship.

"Be strong. Take courage. Don't be intimidated. Don't give them a second thought because GOD, your God, is striding ahead of you. He's right there with you. He won't let you down; he won't leave you" (Deuteronomy 31:6 Msg).

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