Grief hits very hard for teenagers when the family unit breaks down and this is especially difficult at this time of year. Their view of life, and where their security is within it, has shattered. They will try and pick up the pieces and want things to be as normal as possible.
Parents are trying to cope with all the changes and turbulence and to protect their teenage offspring as much as possible. If the two parents can talk to each other, at least on a civil level, then that helps enormously. Sadly, this is not always the case.
Teenagers’ boundaries have suddenly stretched, and being the lovely individuals that they are, they spot this very quickly. If the parents can’t talk to each other, a situation of emotional football, with the teenagers as balls, can develop very quickly.
They are still your offspring, inside their deep hormonal shells, and the loving things that used to comfort them could still work.
Communication is everything and biting back the words you want to say about your ex.partner is vital right now. Your children will develop and grow and make their own peace within the new units now growing from the old. They will make their own minds up. Giving them the time and space to talk is a loving thing to do. By being able to say aloud what their feelings are, helps them to ‘place’ where they are in it all and how they feel about the changes rolling through. There is a real possibility that the parent whom they live with, takes the brunt of their anger. Anger is a part of grief and they will be angry. If at all possible, try not to take this personally. Explain as clearly and calmly as possible what is currently going on.
Keeping your parenting skills constant and setting the same boundaries, as you would have done before, helps a great deal. If this is not possible, due to lack of amicable communication with your ex.partner, then an agreement can possibly be reached with your teenager on a new arrangement.
Your teenager will have things he or she does, or likes to eat, or is happy to create or participate in, then will help to keep them balanced and in touch with themselves.
It is a tricky time for everyone and patience can sometimes be stretched to the limit. If you need support, or words of advice, then a reading from one of TheCircle’s gifted readers will shine new light on the situation for you.
Love will endure, and the bonds you formed when they were little, are still there. Love are the ties that bind.