Your Toronto divorce lawyer will always be courteous, respectful, knowledgeable and understanding. A client and his/her Toronto divorce lawyer will engage in constructive conversations, never corrosive critiques. A similar approach should be taken when a parent is speaking to his/her teen. It is important to engage in positive and affirming behaviour both through language and non-verbal communication.
1. DO Validate Their Feelings
If your teen expresses feelings of sadness, distress or anger, it is important to validate those emotions. Your teen needs to know that you have heard their cry for help and you value his/her open and honest communication. Some suggested responses are:
Toronto divorce lawyers are excellent communicators. Ask your Toronto divorce lawyer for other ways to validate your teens’ emotions.
2. DO Take Charge and Take Action
If and when you believe your teen is demonstrating signs of depression or any other form of mental illness, be sure to take action immediately. Set up a meeting with his/her schoolteacher, guidance counselor, club supervisor or sports coach to discuss any changes in your teen that they may have noticed. Feel free to consult with your Toronto divorce lawyer to help find the best resources such as a reputable child psychologists or mental health professionals.
Most teens don’t know how to ask for help or are too shy, ashamed or proud to do so. It is your job as the parent to do this work for them. Do not wait around to “see if he/she will get better on his/her own.” It is imperative to take action immediately.
3. DO Demonstrate Healthy Coping Mechanisms
Children and teens learn through listening. They also learn through modeling. This is particularly important for the same-sex parent of the teen. Studies continuously show that the same-sex role model has a greater influence on the behavioral development of the teen. Nevertheless, both parents should express and display healthy coping alternatives.
Be honest with yourself. If you do not have healthy coping mechanisms, it is recommended that you too seek professional help. Your Toronto divorce lawyer can assist you in identifying appropriate resources. Unhealthy coping mechanisms include:
Healthy coping mechanisms include:
4. DO Listen to Non-Auditory Communication
Toronto divorce lawyers are aware that listening occurs in its primary form at an auditory level. They also know listening also entails observation and inquiry. Look for cues or signs that might indicate that something is wrong with your teen. While his/her words are a strong indicator, teens may find it difficult to articulate exactly how they feel. Other indicators include:
Talking to Teens about Divorce – Part 1: Special Attention for Adolescents
Talking to Teens about Divorce – Part 2: The Do’s and Don’ts of Discussion
Talking to Teens about Divorce – Part 4: The Don’ts of Discussion
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