Divorce and Teenage Children

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It must be perpetually kept in mind that teenage children look and act like adults, however, they are not totally mature. During teenage, the children need both the parents to be involved in their lives. At times, it is a tough situation for the family when the thoughts and plans of teenage children do not match with that of the parents. As a result, a high conflict may arise between children and parents. However, the reason behind such strange behavior shown by a teenager could be due to hormonal imbalance that is experienced during this phase. All they need is support and assistance from their parents in order to live up that phase. At the same time, teenagers strive hard to become independent in their respective lives. The condition becomes worse when children get to face the stressful condition like seeing their parents getting a divorce in front of their eyes. On the other hand, the parent's engagement with several legal formalities during their divorce process can greatly affect the day-to-day life of the family members. As per the past records, it is mostly teenage children who have attained an emotional disturbance in their lives leading to serious mental problems like depression. It is highly important for every teenage parent to pay extra attention to their teenage children in spite of being busy with completion of all the legal formalities related to their divorce process. Therefore, here we are mainly focused to provide you some general facts related to divorce and teenage children.

Some facts about Divorce and Teenage Children

  • As compared with younger children (up to 12 years), teenagers are normally seen taking sides or backing one specific parent. The teenage children mostly show their interest to collect information in order to know the specific reasons behind their parent's divorce. Hence, teenage children have an inclination to clarity. It is more likely that they might condemn one of their parents.

  • Teenagers feel it is normal and correct to detect and discuss the errors of their parents. Divorce worsens this attitude to an extent where the teenage child may declare a parent to be "evil".

Managing Divorce and Teenage Children

  • If the divorcing / divorced parents want to win the trust of teenagers, the parents must not sugar-coat their talk, but be truthful in explaining the situation.

  • The parents should never attempt to hide their emotions. If their face becomes angry or if they are about to cry, the parents must allow this to happen while talking with the teenagers. Such a display of emotions is taken by the teens as honesty, and consequently, the teens would respond honestly.

  • When the parents are not available to speak with the teenagers, they must select some third person known to the children and parents both. This person must be close to the children, must be aware of the divorce and must be available for the teens. The teenage children must be able to share their feelings or find another view towards the divorce with this selected person.

  • The parents must never resort to euphemism. As an illustration, the parents must not say "we have decided to take a break from one another" instead of saying "we are divorcing." The use of euphemisms raises false hopes and leads to emotional distress.

  • While explaining the divorce to teenagers, the parents must remember to keep aside the bitterness between them (i.e. the parents) and display respect for one another in front of the teens.

  • It must be kept in mind that teenage children are very perceptive. So, these children must not end up with a conclusion that their parents are divorcing because of them, which is one of the major reasons behind the divorce. As soon as the parents finalize to divorce, they must convey the decision to the teenagers. Due to this, the possibility that the teens would blame self for the divorce decreases.

  • It is a fact that teenagers are not able to hide self emotions efficiently. On learning about the divorce of the parents, some teenage children, who were sound sleepers, experience sleeplessness and nightmares. On the other side, an extrovert teenager may change to a reserved one. These are evidences that prove the fact that divorce can actually affect the emotional and social well being of teenage children. In such a condition, the parents may take professional assistance from psychotherapist or general family counselors, who can help their children in terms of providing tips to face the negative impact of a divorce.

Teenage children present during the time of their parents' divorce, need to be handled with extra care and affection. Therefore, it is important that parents should know the exact behavioral facts associated with teenage children in order to help them face the effects of divorce which they might experience.

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