Divorce introduces massive changes in a girl’s or a boy’s life irrespective of their age. Parental divorce affects children and is an important event in a teen’s life. Witnessing loss of love between parents, having parents break their marriage commitment, adjusting to going back and forth between two different households, and the daily absence of one parent while living with the other, all create a challenging new family circumstance in which to live. Life that follows a divorce is significantly different from how the teen experienced life before it.
If the divorce coincides with the onset of adolescence in a child’s life, he or she will be forced to become independent more quickly than a teen in a normal nuclear family. A parental split has a more aggressive effect on an adolescent child. They respond to a divorce with intense independency. A teen’s world is more independent and self-sufficient than a young child's. However, they still require attention and love that is affected by parent's divorce. In such a situation, friends are their favoured companions.
The damage caused
As teens are more independent-minded, they react more aggressively to this change in the family dynamics. They become more rebellious and resolved to take care of themselves as they believe that parents have failed to fulfill their responsibility to the family.
They may feel responsible for the divorce and may believe that the parent who has moved away does not love them anymore.
The damage control
Be a role model for your kids. Teach them how to take care of themselves and offer love, support and encouragement. It might be sometimes tempting to be a friend to your teen but help them while you remain in the role of a parent. Encourage your teen to go on with their life and not groove over this drastic change in the family.