Divorce and the impact on teenagers

How does separation and divorce impact teenage chidlren?

How children react to separation and their parents’ divorce can vary significantly depending on the child’s age and personality as well as the way in which the separation is managed by the parents. This can often be a difficult time for teenagers, already dealing with puberty and their own struggles with adolescence.

When parents of teenagers divorce, it is not uncommon to see teenagers who are having discipline and school issues, being angry and showing contempt to one or both parents.  Often teenagers may complain of physical ailments and refuse to talk about their feelings.  Teenagers may also be overly compassionate with one parent and try to be more independent than they should.

What can parents do?

•            Give your teenager space to talk, when they are ready.  

•            Make sure school are aware of the changes going on at home

•            Do not involve your child in the details of your divorce or rely on them for emotional support

•            Do not use them as a weapon are ask them to pick between you.  

•            Allow them a voice in the arrangements and plans about them.

More information on this issue can be found at Parenting-through-separation-guide.pdf (resolution.org.uk) .   We also have a list of recommended counsellors and other professionals who can work with children.  If you would like information about how Mediation or Child Inclusive Mediation can help, please contact us at hello@familymandm.co.uk or call us on 0800 206 2258.

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