How can a divorce affect my teenage child? How can I help to cope?

How can a divorce affect my teenage child? How can I help to cope?Teen and Divorce – So you too are concerned about a prime source of your children’s unhappiness?

Studies show that if the parents are unhappy, the children get unhappy too. Parental divorce can be painful for the parents as well as teenage children. Divorce can have a drastic change in a child’s life. Absence of one of the parents makes the child feel isolated and secluded. The life of the child gets disturbed.

Divorce shakes the life of the parents and teens. Every teenager responds differently to the pain caused due to separation of the parents. Some children become aggressive when they learn about the division of their family, while few others get indulged in alcohol and drugs. Teens are likely to become sexually active at an early age when they feel depressed or disappointed.

The teenage child who was very loving and respectful becomes aggressive and disrespectful. The parents need to know that it’s not easy for the children to cope up with the parental divorce. They may start feeling lonely and anxious. Withdrawal from one of the parents may make the teenage child feel punished.

Most of the teens like to spend their time with their friends and peers. They prefer to stay out of their homes under such critical situations. When you think about getting a divorce, your child may lock himself inside his room almost everyday. The academics of the child may also get affected.

Here are some tips which can help your teen cope up with a divorce:

You should give your teenage child some time to adjust with the new happenings. Make sure that you give the teen child enough space. There may be circumstances when the teen gets angry or shouts at you for no reason. This can happen because the child finds it difficult to deal with the parental divorce. Talk to your child openly. Many parents do not feel comfortable talking or announcing about the divorce. They try to hide the facts from the teens. It is important for all the family members including your teenage child to know about the divorce. Announce it and assure the child that both the parents would be a part of the child’s life.

When the teens get curious, they may start questioning the parents. Be honest and clear all the doubts that the child has. He may ask you “ Where am I going to stay after you get divorced?” or “Will I stay with mom or dad?” Be prepared to answer such questions honestly.

Encourage the child to speak out what he feels. The teenage child can have many negative thoughts and feelings. Be friendly to your teenage child and talk about everything. Break up of the marriage can make the child feel unloved. Hence, both the parents should spend time with the child to make him feel safe and secure. Love your teen child and show your affection. You may also seek counseling help if needed.

The parents should keep the teenage child involved in some activities. For example: If your teenage child loves sports, send him to some sports workshop or classes at the time you undergo a separation. When the teen stays busy and indulged in some activities, he is likely to enjoy that.

Image Credit: David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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