Teens are usually intuitive people who can sense when something is amiss. When their parents divorce, it might not be a huge surprise. This is a major transition for them, but it’s one that gives them the opportunity to thrive in the midst of change.
One situation that’s often hard for them to deal with is when one parent starts a new relationship. Blending families is very challenging when you have teens, but it can work if everyone puts in an effort.
Take things slowly
Don’t try to rush the introductions between the children and your new partner. Take things slowly and allow the friendship and relationship to grow at a pace that’s comfortable for everyone. Trying to push the children can lead to them becoming resistant. If the new partner has children, those relationships with your teens will also take time to grow instead of rushing them to get along.
Provide a safe space
Teens can be very emotional, so they’ll need an outlet for dealing with those emotions. They may be reluctant to share their feelings with you. Try to gather a support system of adults they can trust to help them. Joining a support group of teens with divorced parents who are embarking on new relationships might be beneficial.
Making sure that you have an appropriate parenting plan in place for teens is important because the one that’s created for younger children likely won’t work. It should address the need for teens to learn independence, which isn’t possible if their parents are managing every aspect of their life. It might be necessary to modify a current parenting plan if it’s been a while since it was created.