Manassa & Neugebauer, P.C.
Teens are already dealing with many changes in their lives. They may have body image issues, raging hormones, be terribly insecure about acne or have self-esteem issues stemming from a romance gone wrong. At the same time, they are still learning how to be responsible and independent (even if they say they already know how to be). Because of this, a divorce can be a significant disruption in their emotional development, and parents should take notice.
A teen’s reaction may vary to the news of divorce. Some may say that they are relieved because they don’t have to listen to arguments anymore, while others may be saddened by the break-up. Others may feel guilty, believing that they caused the divorce, and some may feel as if others will look at them differently now that their family has changed.
Regardless of the reaction, parents should take notice that their teens have been affected. It is helpful to reach out make sure that the relationship has not been compromised, even though the family has changed. The following tips can help:
• Seek change in small steps. Just like small children, big changes can be overwhelming for teens.
• Be open minded. Your teen may be able to teach you a few things based on his or her perspective on the world.
• Be civil. After all, setting a good example is important in the healing process.
• Be wary of what you share with your teen. This includes disparaging stories about the other parent.
• Set aside time to be together. Ultimately, quality time is good way to maintain relationships.
Source: HuffingtonPost.com, Adolescence and divorce: Helping families and teens cope, March 2, 2013
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Teens and divorce. Helpful tips to maintain your sanity.