Compare to infants, toddlers, preschoolers and elementary school children, adolescents are more mature. They have gain more maturity to establish identity, self-worth and independence. But this does not mean that they can withstand the effects of divorce. Because of their maturity level, divorced parents must understand and handle them well.
So, how do adolescents react to parents’ divorce? What divorce parenting practices is best appropriate for children of this age?
Adolescents’ reaction to divorce is quite different compare to children of other age. First is their understanding to divorce. Adolescents understand what divorce means but may have difficulty accepting the reality of the changes it brings to their family.
Secondly, with divorce adolescents will likely misses normal development growth and instead takeover as second parents. A major developmental task of adolescence is the successful detaching from the family and the creation of a healthy generational boundary. If divorce occurs during the time that this detachment is beginning, the developmental skids may be put on. That is, the teen may abruptly shift away from his or her normal adolescent rebellion and instead take on the role of a second parent in the fragmented family.
Divorce may also cause adolescents to stop fantasizing about their own future and family. Instead they spend more on worries about Mom and Dad as well as their parent’s emotional distress.
Adolescents may spend more emotional energy when parents later begin dating. They think more about this new person rather that their own potential dating partner.
Adolescents may be terrified that they will repeat their parents’ marital failure. They wonder if they are capable of sustaining a marriage themselves. Seeing the vulnerability of their parents heightens the normal anxieties of adolescence.
Adolescents may react by spending more time away from home and may feel angry and abandon. They risk moving into vises and prematurely into sexual activities
Knowing how adolescents react to divorce will give you some clues on how to best handle them. Here below is the list of the divorce parenting practices that is best appropriate for adolescents.
– Discuss the coming divorce with your adolescents. This discussion will help equip adolescents deal with the shock they typically experience over it. It is also useful for parents to discuss the divorce with their adolescents about two to four weeks before the marital separation occurs. The youngster in this case is then more likely to feel that he is being informed before any actions are taken and will tend to be more trusting of his parents in the future.
– Inform adolescents, as much as possible, how the marital separation will immediately affect his life. Who will be moving out of the family home and when, where the youngster will be living and with whom, where the other parent will be living and how frequently the adolescent will see him are all questions that must be answered. If any of these issues are still unclear, it is helpful for parents to acknowledge that and tell the youngster that they will let her know about whatever matters are in doubt as soon as they are resolved.
– Parents also need to prepare the adolescent for what lies ahead and convey that they are genuinely interested in the teenager’s input. While not being made to feel responsible, the adolescent does need to feel they are participating in contributing to the process of recovering from the divorce.
– Reassure the adolescent of the fact that the divorce will not change the parent’s love for him and that parents will remain totally involve in teenager’s life.
– Maintain open lines of communication with children. Encourage adolescents to ask any questions and to freely express their feelings. Despite the fact that many teenagers would appear to understand the reason you have decided to separate, they will still have a need to express strong feelings of anger about the disruption to their lives.
– Whenever possible, both parents need to stay involved in children’s live. Know children’s friends, what they do together, and keep up with children’s progress at school and in other activities.
– The adolescent needs to be given permission to love both parents and not choose sides. They must not be burdened with having to align with one parent’s anger against the other.
– Parents can present the divorce as a final solution to problems that did not improve after exploring a range of options.
– Try and remain civil to your ex-partner when attending family events together. If you can’t manage this, it is better not to go rather than have a stand up row and embarrass your teenager.
– For parents to stop fighting and work hard to get along with each other. Sometimes children can get the idea that they are the source of their parent’s conflict. If you have difficulties relating to your former spouse then get your free copy of my ebook “8 Essential Steps to Cooperative Parenting and Divorce.” Just visit my website and get the said ebook for free.
You can learn more divorce parenting practices appropriate for children of any age in my ebook “101 Ways To Raise ‘Divorced’ Children to Successfully.” This ebook is a divorce parenting guide that offers many proven ways that will not only help you help your children but will also guide you on how to deal with yourself and your former ex-spouse for your children’s sake. Thus, giving you complete information on how to raise healthy, happy and successful children even if you’re divorced. For more information, please visit my website.
With the above information, I hope you will become an empowered divorced parent and believe that you can raise healthy, happy and successful children even if you’re divorce.