Divorce can devastate families. Unfortunately, ‘divorce’ is becoming increasingly common. There are a number of reasons why a couple may go their separate ways. Broken dreams and relations are the remnants of a marriage that didn’t last. Children are the biggest victims of divorce.
And what about teens? What are the effects of divorce on teens? Teenagers are already at a very delicate phase in their life. And without the support system of a healthy family backing them, divorce can leave teens drowning in their emotions.
Are you going through a divorce? Find out how does divorce affect teens psychologically & emotionally at home.
Most teenagers struggle to cope with the changes taking place inside them during puberty. Many also suffer from self-esteem issues, anxiety and depression during this difficult phase. A hostile atmosphere at home and absence of any of the parents as a result of divorce takes a toll on a teen’s critical support system. It increase
[ Read: How To Deal With Teenage Son ]
2. Difficulty In Regulating Emotions:
Most divorces involve a lot of verbal abuses. Broken families often have children who have difficulty understanding and regulating emotions (2).
3. Tougher For Boys:
Divorce is harder on boys than on girls because most divorces award custody to the mother (3). With a father figure lacking in their lives, boys often tend to suffer more than girls. Such boys also tend to display a volatile temperament.
4. Commitment Issues:
Teenagers, who witness an ugly divorce from close quarters, are often commitment-phobic later in life (4).
5. Low Self-Esteem:
A teen needs his parents around to boost his morale. A teen expects his parent to multitask as a friend, philosopher, and guide. But when the family falls apart, children can face a huge dent in their self-esteem (5). Teenagers with low self-esteem are more likely to indulge in risky behavior.
[ Read: How To Help Teenagers With Low Self Esteem ]
6. Early Sexual Experimentation:
Teenage girls with divorced parents are more likely to experience teen pregnancy (6).
7. More Likely To Drop Out Of School:
When parents fight and subsequently divorce, chances of teens dropping out of school also go up manifold (7).
8. Substance Abuse:
Marital dispute and divorce can propel teens towards drugs, alcohol, and other such addictive substances (8).
For a couple, divorce may be the only way out of a toxic situation. But for teens, it is the death of their family. So, what can you, as a parent, do to minimize the effect of divorce on teenagers?
[ Read: Teenage Behavior Problems ]
Tips For Parents:
Here are some tips for you to make sure your teen comes out of the divorce stronger:
1. Talk It Out:
Discuss your divorce with your child, don’t just announce it. Sit down, as a family, and talk it out.
2. Don’t Fight:
Divorce can entail a lot of negativity, mud slinging and ugly spats. When you do sit down and talk about the divorce, don’t play the blame game. You and your partner may be parting ways as individuals, but as parents, you need to stay on your kid’s side.
[ Read: Parenting Tips For Teenagers ]
3. Seek Help:
Make sure you try everything possible to save the marriage. Seek marriage counseling. If nothing works, and divorce is imminent, go to a family therapist to deal with the change. It will help you and your teen adapt to the change better.
4. Get A Support System In Place:
Ensure there is support system in place for you and your teen, while you regroup. Grandparents, relatives, and friends – it can be anyone your teen can trust.
5. Show That You Care:
Shower your teen with love and affection. He is extremely emotionally fragile because of your divorce and needs your reassurance now more than ever.
Even if your marriage crumbles nothing can change the fact that you brought a beautiful life into this world. Your teen is your responsibility. Divorce does not change that fact. Once the dust settles down, let go of the bitterness. Even when you have separate lives, your teen will still need you. Be there for him.
Hope this article helped you know how does divorce affect teens. If you have gone through a divorce, tell us how you helped your adolescent deal with the crisis.
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