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What Divorces Can Do To Your Teens - Helpful tips for Parents and Teens

Updated on April 18, 2016

When parents know they can not stay together because they just simply do not love each other anymore mostly likely a divorce is on the verge. With teens old enough to know what is happening they will get hurt. Seeing the two people they love the most separate is really hard on just about anyone.

What parents do while they are divorcing will also majorly effect the lives of their teenagers. Here are some examples of what goes on during a divorce:

•Arguing- Parents who argue in front and around their teens can cause problems for them. They are old enough to know that is not normal, and it is not something loving parents do. It can give them the idea that maybe that is how "love" is supposed to be. Teens tend to gain the habits they see their parents doing, and think it is okay to do. Later in their lives problems could develop in their own relationship due to arguing.

•Talking about the other- Divorcing parents always tend to talk bad about the other. One parent will say bad things about the other parent to their teen, and the other parent might do the same. Parents want their teen to side with them because they want to feel like they are not in the wrong. In reality both parents are in the wrong; It takes two to tango.

Cheating- Not all divorces end due to cheating, but many do. When a teen finds out one of their parents cheated on the other it sends a message to them thinking that it still might be okay. Teens do not want to see their parents separate and will think that cheating is okay so their parents can have a chance to stay together. Yet again, teens who see their parents do things may result in the same situations. In future relationships their teens could develop the same habit.

•Depression- Of course the parents might be depressed but their teens can be as well. Teens who have depression can lead to a numerous of things. They want to find a way to forget about what goes on at home and just be happy for once. Whenever parents are going through the divorce they tend to be more lenient about what their kids do. Desperate for some distraction,falling in to the wrong crowd can be dangerous. These days kids in middle school can get access to older teens and adults to attend parties with drugs and alcohol. Sex can also be a factor that comes in to play. All of these might help them defeat that depression for awhile but it also results in something that they might regret on down the road.

Holidays - For some teens holidays were the best parts of the year. Their whole family would get together, have dinner, and talk about good times. Now when going through a divorce, family time is not the same anymore. Some teens even hate the idea of the holidays because it just reminds them that their parents are no longer together and happy.

Divorces may be hard on the parents but teens statistics can prove it is worse. A study of children six years after a parental marriage breakup revealed that even after all that time, these children tended to be “lonely, unhappy, anxious and insecure. (Wallerstein “The Long-Term Effects of Divorce on Children” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 1991). Suicide and psychological problems are also greater in teens that have been through their parents divorce than teens who had not gone through one.

Tips for Parents

Some helpful tips for parents that are going through a divorce with teens are:

•Keep the above conditions to a minimum.

•Make sure teens are still loved and given the attention they need.

•Being adults, work together your differences and try to get along for the sake of your teens

•Know that they will be hurt and explain to them what really is happening

•Do not feel like you are a bad parent. Teens will not think so as long as you stay in a good part of their life and show you love them

•Do not be very strict. Let your teen have some space but do punish them when they are misbehaving

•Do not treat your teen like an object when it comes to custody. Teens are old enough to make a decision on their own and will make the choice that they want. Do not pressure them to pick you

•Let your teens know that they can come to you to talk about their feelings and how the divorce is effecting them

Tips for Teens

Many teens have a rough time coming up with the right things to overcome their parents divorce. Everyone is different so different things can work for different people. Here are some examples teens can use to help go through their parents divorce:

•Talk with your parents and spend time with them more

•Find good friends that help push and pursue yourself in life.

•Make sure to have a hobby. Sports, singing, dancing, writing, painting are just some examples

•Stay positive no matter what. Everything happens for a reason and this situational will make you a stronger wiser person

•Do not resort to drugs or alcohol for help. That will only make things worse and can potentially hurt yourself and loved ones in the future

•Have goals and dreams and never give up on them

•Be active in your community. It feels good to help other people out. Join clubs and volunteer

You Are Not Alone

Everyone needs to know that they are not alone and that this situation happens to many other people. Plenty of people have found their own ways to cope and have even become successful individuals. Their parents divorced molded them and made them a stronger individual which gave them the drive to pursue their dreams. If teens really love their parents they need to know that a divorce will make them happier in the long run.

© 2015 Celia Silk


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