Teenagers Vs. Kids Reaction to Divorce
About 61.96 million couples are married in the U.S. and a majority of those marriages will last till death do us part. Sadly, about 40-50% of couples will divorce someday. Although parting ways might be the best decision for some people in the long-term, the immediate effects may be overwhelming to everyone involved. Many times, it’s the children who undergo the greatest anguish.
Children tend to react differently to marriage dissolution according to age. Small kids frequently encounter emotions of grief and become clingy when they learn their parents are ending their marriage. On the contrary, teenagers or adolescents see divorce as a betrayal by their parents and will often pull away from them.
If you’re facing a divorce, please get in touch with a Wilmington Divorce Attorney for guidance.
How Divorce Affects Teens
As teenagers try to distance themselves from their parents, they might showcase the following behaviors:
- Extreme fury at one or both of the parents through abusive comments, or withdrawing from contact with family
- Take one of the parent’s side and punish the other with offensive behavior or avoid them outright
- Ask for permission to hang out with friends more or spend more time away from home, and might show anger if they’re not allowed to do so
- Become less involved in their school work and other responsibilities. Academic grades may drop and truancy rates might increase
- An increase in risky or self-abusive behaviors, like binge drinking, taking drugs, and sexual immorality
- Some adolescents might attempt to behave better, concentrate more on schoolwork and enhance grades. They may do so in an effort to salvage their parents’ relationship because they think they are partly responsible
Divorce Can Lead to Behavioral Problems in Teenagers That Last Well into Adulthood
Teenagers who undergo a parent’s divorce are frequently affected well into their adult years. They might develop self-protective fears, feel hesitant to enter into committed relationships and have problems with trusting others. Such issues can result in other behavioral problems that can thwart their own relationships. Such behavioral issues include:
- Being exceedingly cautious in relationships
- A propensity to keep relationships with others superficial in an effort to avoid commitment
- Shrewd behavior keep a spouse committed to the marriage
- Willingness to terminate a relationship when a problem comes up
How to Alleviate the Pain for Teenagers During a Divorce
When differences are irreconcilable and marriage dissolution cannot be avoided, life can become painful. While there is no way of avoiding the agony, parents can uphold certain measures to ease some of the pain for their kids:
- Keep the process as harmonious as possible for the children’s sake. Try to keep any arguments or fights to a minimum at all times
- Meet all your obligations as a parent. Stay committed to any agreement to meet someplace, pick up the children or offer some assistance
- Avoid trash talk, because it is immature, hurtful and totally unnecessary to utter nasty things about an ex-spouse to a kid
- Tell the children that the divorce will not affect their future plans or hold them back in any way
- Always try to maintain a good appearance and abstain from breaking down in front of the kids
- Continue to guide the kids as a responsible parent. Do not shower the children with unnecessary gifts or avoid scenarios where they require parental discipline
Seek the Guidance of a Wilmington Divorce Attorney
Divorce is difficult for everybody involved but maybe tougher on adolescent children. If your teenager is acting queerly, because of your divorce, please talk to them or seek professional help.
Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division
300 N. 3rd St. Suite 310
Wilmington, NC 28401