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How you can help your teen get through a divorce

Most teenagers have a lot on their plates they’re trying to sort out. The news that mom and dad are getting a divorce may be an emotional overload for a young person, but there are things a Michigan parent can do to soften the blow of a teen having to make adjustments to a new reality. Between 20-25% of teens whose parents divorce have some sort of difficulty adjusting to life changes.

These young people can experience problems in school or in their social lives; may have trouble sleeping and concentrating; be overly sad or angry; become defiant or promiscuous and have increased stress levels. Parents can help by continuing to foster a positive relationship with their teen children. They can make it clear they’re available to talk and that it’s all right to have intense emotions about what’s happening.

A parent may be in the best position to consider whether a child needs a mental health professional’s help to better deal with his or her emotions. Parents need to reinforce the fact that they will do whatever they can to keep their children safe and to help them make decisions that are healthy for them. However, many experts say it is important to allow a child to grieve the loss of his or her parents’ marriage in his or her own way.

Parents in Wisconsin who have questions about the divorce process might do well obtaining independent advice from an attorney experienced in family law. Divorce is tough on everyone, but can be especially so on older children who may be dealing with their own issues. A lawyer may be able to provide some tools a client could use to help in the situation or offer names of experts like therapists, who may be able to offer assistance.

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