YOUNG VOICES: Help youths cope with parents' divorce

2013-02-04T00:00:00Z YOUNG VOICES: Help youths cope with parents' divorceBy Kevin Surney nwitimes.com
February 04, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Divorce can have a negative impact on children, teenagers, and young adults. Being a product of divorce, I was able to experience the many degrees of separation between my parents. They divorced two months before my graduation, and the weight of not having both parents in the home made me feel isolated and confused.

I felt as if they were selfish for not working through their problems. Besides, marriage is a union that requires patience and must be replenished from time to time to remain healthy or it can deteriorate.

There are many ways to support the youth during a divorce.

One way would be to look into therapy assistance to help the youth cope with the divorce itself. Divorce can be devastating to the youth as it destroys their comfort zone. In my case, dealing with the divorce of my parents, I wish I had therapy sessions to help me clear my head of the numerous questions I had about why my parents divorced.

Also, parents shouldn't change the way they've been parenting the child. This could cause an inconsistency with the familiarity that they’re accustomed to, thus making the situation similar to a free-for-all.

Another way to support the youth during divorce is to not degrade the other parent in conversation. Not talking badly about the other parent shows a level of respect towards the child and parent.

The biggest and most successful way to support the youth through divorce is to put an extra effort into keeping things comfortable for them. The more comfortable the environment is, the better they have a chance to deal with the situation positively.

To all children, teenagers, and young adults experiencing the negativity of divorce remember that your life is important. Take the steps necessary to ensure you will respond to these situations respectfully and positively, so you can continue to move forward in your life.

Kevin Surney of Merrillville is a junior at Indiana University Northwest. The opinions are the writer's.

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