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How do I handle being a new single parent with my 15 year old?

My husband and I are separating with intent to divorce. My daughter is beginning high school next year and I need advice on how to develop a good relationship with her as we go through this. She holds her emotions in and I am afraid of her engaging in risky behaviors due to this break up. I feel it would be good for us to go to a counselor together but know she will probably balk at it - I am very scared.

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Asked by bkladee at 9:41 AM on May. 27, 2011 in Teens (13-17)

Level 1 (2 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • I'm not divorced/divorcing and struggle with this too. I think that just being together one-on-one more often can bring you closer. Do not fall into the trap of trying to buy her stuff to bring her closer. The best thing you can do is to spend time with her and keep the lines of communication as open as possible.


    Answer by JSD24 at 9:45 AM on May. 27, 2011

  • I am sure you are very scared. Its hard facing the world now on your own. There is a book I like called "The Art of Talking To Your Teeenager". I could read that book and it grounded me sometimes and gave me a new perspective...helped me a lot and I am sure sometimes my teenager.
    I think counseling would be good idea for both of you. At first she may rebel but eventually it may be a great place to voice her opinions or at least get some good support...keep your mind on the right track that you want to take with your daughter. I think it would be good. Do it.

    Answer by Momforhealth at 9:49 AM on May. 27, 2011

  • I think both you and your husband need to be very honest with her about the reasons for the divorce. Even at her age, she very well may somehow blame herself for it. I think, too, that one of the best ways to navigate this issue would be for both you and your husband to be honest about mistakes you made in selecting each other for life-time partners. I have always tried to teach my children from my own mistakes. As a result, they have not repeated them in their own lives. Doing that can be very painful, because we have to admit that we are not now nor ever have been perfect. Our children won't be either, but we can help them to profit from our mistakes. If you take that approach, she will be more likely to hang with you.

    Answer by NannyB. at 10:00 AM on May. 27, 2011

  • Scared ? You are her role model and where she takes her cues from. If you are OK, then she will be. It is important that she has a good relationship with her father through these years. A counselor can only "talk" about things. It takes action to make life stable and secure. Why let the fears of what "might " happen cripple today? Future tripping does no good. Focus on today and just love her. That is all she needs. The years ahead can be challenging no matter what the circumstances are. Just keep doing the next thing and stay strong. Watch your thoughts- it will be OK, just believe in your abilities and take your power back. . Gratitude, logic, security and love will carry you through it all. Fears won't kill you but reacting to them will take so much out of your life. Just relish in whatever good and positive things you can find. Chin up and relax.. :-)

    Answer by LeJane at 10:06 AM on May. 27, 2011

  • First of all it's okay to be scared but don't project that - she will pick up on it and it's like blood in the water with sharks. BE CONSISTENT, BE CONSISTENT and did I mention BE CONSISTENT? There are so many changes, your ex may try to make you the bad guy and be "Disney Daddy" hopefully he will work with you to keep a consistent environment for the good of your daughter but if not, just set rules and be firm and loving. Don't yell, don't scream - these are the rules, You CHOSE to break a rule and this is the consequence "I'm sorry you chose this for yourself, I hope you do better next time" repeat this every time you feel her push your buttons. I wish had been better at this with my daughter, I may have saved myself a lot of grief. Take her to counseling even if she sits there, she'll open up eventually with the right person and I wish you strength to get through this tough time!

    Answer by 8Tinkerboo8 at 10:09 AM on May. 27, 2011

  • Be honest and open. She is 15 and you have to let her know even though you are divorcing it changes nothing in how you feel, if anything now you have a partnership.

    Answer by gemgem at 10:13 AM on May. 27, 2011

  • Go with what you feel. Trust your momma instinct. If you feel like a counselor would help even one of you then go for it. If it doesnt end up helping you can always decide not to go anymore but it is worth a try.

    Make sure that you keep your daughter in touch with supportive family members who love her. Go out to dinner with her grandparents, have group outtings to go bowling or to a movie, etc. The more you make her feel supported and comfortable, the more she will be happy and have a chance of opening up. Ask her questions about her feelings, share yours, and encourage her.

    Answer by amber710 at 11:16 AM on May. 27, 2011

  • Keep the lines of communication open and expand what you do with her. Be active if her life, but not overly protective.

    Answer by _Tam_ at 1:25 PM on May. 27, 2011

  • I raised my son by myself but it was from the start. I just always talked to him about stuff. I would open up to him and in turn he would open up to me. Or so it seemed.

    Answer by Peajewel at 10:05 PM on May. 27, 2011

  • Keep talking to her and stay amicable with your stbx.

    Answer by Pnukey at 12:00 PM on May. 30, 2011

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