One of the biggest challenges divorced parents face is communicating with their children. All parents struggle with communicating with their children at some point, especially during their teenage years.
Parents who have gotten divorced should be aware that they need to make increased efforts to communicate with their children. Divorce can change a family's life in many ways and some children may not be as accepting of change. The drastic change divorce can cause may lead to children not communicating as much with their parents.
Children may not tell their divorced parents when they are angry or upset. Despite the challenges of communicating with teenagers, divorce parents can take the following steps to improve their relationship and communication skills with their children:
- Be available to talk: it is important to be available and ready to talk to your children, especially when they want to talk about something or have questions.
- Keep conversations private: let children know they can confide in you.
- Don't dismiss subjects: if children are bothered by something, don't dismiss their concerns.
- Don't embarrass your children: don't put them on the spot in front of other people.
- Avoid talking to children when you are angry: it is wise for parents not to talk to their children when they are angry or upset. It is important to still talk to your children but when everyone is in a better mood.
- Be an active listener: don't interrupt when your child is talking and listen carefully.
Children who feel comfortable talking to their parents will have a better relationship and it will make the divorce easier on everyone.
Source: Huffington Post, "Boosting Parent/Child Communication After Your Divorce," Rosalind Sedacca, Dec. 5, 2012