Divorce and Teen Angst: When a Divorce Is a Struggle for Kids

As the parent of a teenager, you know that designing a custody arrangement is not going to be simple. Your teen has their own opinions on what should happen, which can make it more difficult for you and your spouse to separate while being sensitive to their needs.

For parents of teens who are against the divorce, it is not uncommon to find that the teen refuses to move or follow custody arrangements out of anger or frustration. For teens who want the divorce, for whatever reason, parents may find it difficult to get them to willingly participate in anything other than what they believe the divorce should result in.

Parents need to take note of their children's behavior during the divorce

You probably expected that divorcing with a teenager would not be easy, and you would not be the first person to admit that your teen's behavior has changed. A divorce challenges a teen's sense of autonomy. Teenagers are starting to become old enough that they want to make their own decisions. When they can make no decisions for themselves because their parents have to make decisions for the betterment of the situation, it can create conflict.

What should you do if your teen is fighting or combative during a divorce?

Early on, it's a good idea to consider therapy and mediation with your child. You and your spouse may be able to attend together with your child, or you may opt to go one at a time. Either way, going to therapy, sitting down and talking to your child and addressing the problem head on will help you help your child the fastest way possible.

Another thing to do is to make sure each of you takes time for your child. Even though your child is older, they still need love and guidance during this new phase of life. It's in your best interests, and the best interests of your child, if you maintain a positive relationship throughout the trials of the divorce, even if you can't get along with the other parent. Do your best to maintain a positive outlook.

Divorces have a tendency to bring out the worst in people. They're complicated situations, and for teens and children, the situation creates distress because of the litany of changes that occur. Keep the above tips in mind to help your child adjust, and you will see a difference moving forward.