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Tough Stuff

Are your parents splitting up? Read this... It'll totally help

 

There’s no doubt that divorce can be a totally awful experience––especially when it happens to your own parents. For whatever reason, not all married couples stay together, and unfortunately their kids can get caught up in the whirlwind and have to deal with the aftermath. You might not know who to talk to, how to act around your new stepdad or if you should accept your mom’s new BF. While every family dynamic is different and there’s no clear way of dealing with every situation, we put together a few pointers to help you out with the basics of dealing with divorce, remarriage and stepparents. 

Realize that it’s not your fault

No matter how much you might feel like it is, your parent’s splitting is not your doing. There’s a whole other side of their relationship that you never see, and it’s strictly between them why things didn’t work out. There are not always clear answers, but you need to remember that your parents love you—even if they don't love each other.

Confide in someone unbiased

Sometimes keeping feelings inside can seem easier than letting everything come out in one big explosion. One of the best things you can do after your parents' divorce, however, is talk about it with someone unbiased. This could be a friend, another family member, a counselor or a therapist. Having a good cry and talking things out will make you feel much better.

Talk to your parents

Whether you’re relieved or totally devastated, you need to let both of your parents know how you feel about their situation. Holding onto any negativity will just make you resent them. Sit down with both of them and talk about all of the issues: visitations, dividing up carpools, anything you can think of that could be a potential confusion. Unfortunately, this is a time when you need to act like an adult and communicate what you want (and need) from both parents.

Be supportive

Eventually, one of your parents might decide to remarry. Some people are happy for their ‘rents when they find someone new, but others might feel like this is the end of the world. Yes, the change is weird. Seeing someone else with your mom or dad can also be really weird. But if your parents are happy and enough time has passed, you should be happy for them. Once again, communication is key—if you don’t feel comfortable, speak up to your parent.

Get to know your stepparent (if there is one in the picture)

Spending time with your new stepparent can be totally awkward. Even if they’re sweet as pie, they can still make ya feel a little off. This is normal, and just like getting to know a new friend, you need to get to know your new parent as well before you can be totally comfortable. Plan a shopping trip with your stepmom or go for pizza and bowling with your stepdad. Once you break the ice, things will feel less awkward.

Find something that makes you happy

With all of the drama and emotions swirling around your house, it’s a good idea to find something that really clears your head and forces you to have some “me time”. Take a half hour out of your day and do something that frees your mind from everything else you have going on. This can be playing a sport, painting, teaching yourself to play the guitar or journaling—doing something expressive can be a great outlet.

Do you have any tips for dealing with divorced parents? Share in the comments below!

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by Brittany Goers | 2/1/2016
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