When you get divorced with younger children, a lot of your conversations are essentially just you telling them about changes in their lives. They look to you for guidance and they often accept what you tell them. There’s not nearly as much back and forth conversation, and you may question whether or not they really understand the scope of what is taking place.
With teenagers, though, it’s clear that they grasp far more of what’s happening. They really understand how life is changing. Though they may question why it’s happening, relationship issues are not new or foreign to them. You need to tread carefully. You must be honest with them, while still shielding them from the things that may impact their relationship with you or your ex.
One key thing to do is to set aside time to let them ask questions. Unlike younger children, they don’t accept your authority in quite the same way. They’re starting to think for themselves and become more independent. Their deeper understanding of divorce means they may have more questions and deeper questions. You need to give them the chance to speak their mind. You need to provide them with answers. Conversations have to go both directions and honesty is very important.
As you move forward, think about what this change means for you and your children. Then you can carefully consider all of the options you have to put them first. You may want to run much of this by them as you do it, getting their input every step of the way.