Many of our blogs are related to how difficult divorce is on children. In many cases, this situation may be even more traumatic for older children and teenagers. One reason may be that they have been a part of the family unit for a longer amount time than smaller children. Regardless of the family dynamic, they are more accustomed to the way things were before the divorce.
Even if there are no good times to look back on, teens still know their place in the family structure. Whether it was good or bad, they may feel some comfort in their old life.
Resisting any change is a very natural part of being a human. For teenagers, resistance is sometimes coupled with their need to rebel against boundaries. Divorce or separation can make any child powerless over their situation, which simply is unacceptable for a teenager who needs to feel a sense of control.
Unlike in the case of small children, teenagers will likely not blame themselves for the divorce. This ability to pass the blame leaves them susceptible to blaming one or both of their parents instead.
It is also common for anger to manifest as a result of a divorce. This is especially true if they are feeling as though their feelings are not being heard. In some cases their pent up anger might result in rebellion. Drug or alcohol abuse and other inappropriate behaviors are also sometimes seen.
To bridge the communication gap with your teenager, consider creating democracy within your home. You can do this by offering a safe-space where they are free to express their emotions.
Even if your teen is having a hard time, try to remember that it will pass. Remaining patient and understanding with them will further show that you are in this with them.
At Ronald Johnston Law, we fully understand the importance of effective coping for your children and yourself. Ronald Johnston is a family attorney in Beaverton Oregon who will do everything he can to make sure that your custody agreement is the best fit for you and your children. Click here to read more today.