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Tips for Making Divorce Easier

     There are a few things to remember before you even attempt to help the situation out - first of all, it's normal to feel lots of different things, including anger, fear, and sadness. Second, even though it may seem like your whole world just fell apart, with time, things will be better again. Your life might be a bit different, but the pieces will come back together again - maybe even sooner than you think.

* Get Your Anger Out - in a good way!
     However, there are ways you can deal with the feelings you have. If you are really mad, you can punch your pillow, kick some empty boxes, go hit a baseball, or run for as long and as fast as you can. But never take your feelings out on another person.

* Talk to someone, anyone!
     Telling someone how you feel can also help. If you feel really mad, say so. Talking is much better than keeping the feeling to yourself or going around acting all grouchy and irritable. Sometimes just talking to someone else is a big relief. When you tell someone how they are feeling and they can understand you that is a big relief. You could talk to a friend, your parent, and aunt or uncle or someone else that you really enjoy talking to. As well, you may feel much better after talking to a therapist, counselor, or social worker. These adults are trained to talk with people about their problems and help with feelings that are too intense. There are also support groups in schools and other places in the community where kids can get to know other kids whose parents have divorced or are divorcing and talk about how it affects them. There are also lots of books about divorce written just for kids.

What your parents could do:
There are many ways that parents can help you through the divorce. Talk to them and show them this list:

* It is best if both parents stay involved with you and reassure you that they will always love and care for you. If one of your parents moves away or does not stay in touch, it is not your fault.

* It is important for parents to try not to put you in the middle. Sometimes your parents may be tempted to complain about each other or have you deliver messages back and forth. This may make you feel like you have to choose between your parents or that you are not being loyal enough to one of your parents. If this is happening, it is okay to tell a parent that this upsets you.

* It is important for your parents to try to get along, especially about things that directly affect you, like visits.

* It is best for you to have as few changes as possible, at least for a while. Sometimes it may be necessary to move and go to a new school. If this happens, tell your parents that you would like to be able to stay in touch with your friends from your old neighborhood and school.

* Talk about the future. Teens may worry that their own plans for the future could be affected by the divorce. Some are concerned that the costs of divorce (like legal fees and expenses of two households) might mean there will be less money for college or other things the teen may need. Talking with parents can ease concerns - there are solutions for most problems like these and people who can help teens and parents find those solutions.
* Live your own life. Sometimes during a divorce, parents may be so caught up in their own changes that teens can feel their lives are on hold. But a teen's life goes on. Teens still need their parents' attention and help as they continue to plan for the future. It's important for teens to stay focused on their own dreams, future plans, and goals, and to talk about them with parents.

* When things are changing at home, it's especially important for teens to stay involved in their usual activities at school and with friends. Keeping some things the same can help you feel that part of your life is still the same. Because teens are often involved with lots of activities outside the family, they may adjust to divorce more easily than younger children do. Regular exercise is an important stress buster as well, so make sure you get some.

Related Links
Divorce and Separation - A Guide For Teens
Your Feelings
Life Changes
Loss Of Family
Life Differences
A Parent's Change
Positive Life After Divorce