How Does Divorce Affect Teenagers?

Divorce is painful and stressful not only for the parent but also for kids and people around them. Depends on the stage of life and our age, we tend to have different response toward divorce. Teenagers are also invulnerable from the effect of divorce. Every family and teenager are unique and so does the reason and response of divorce. That is why sometimes it is difficult to predict how teens will respond to parental separation. Family mediation service is the best answer in such situations. However, there are significant risk factors from teenagers whose parent are divorce as the following.

Teens forced to grow up quickly

Most teenagers feel like they are forced to grow up quickly because of the divorce. This is because some parents may use teen as a confidant and expose them to the adult world sooner than the average teens. Some parents may also fail in providing sufficient nurture or support due to depression and stress. Thus, they leave teens to navigate the hard living alone. In some cases, teens are also required to manage extra adult responsibilities at home to cover the loss of parent such as looking after siblings.

Teens blame themselves

Teenagers tend to think that their parent gets a divorce because of them. This can be a huge pain to admit such a thing but for teens, it is easier to deal with. It is a common thing for teens to believe that their behavior leads their parent to get a divorce. If such thinking continues, teens will start to get angry at themselves. Some others may become extraordinarily nice to both parents with the hope that their parent will not get divorced. Even though teens are told that the reason for parent separation has nothing to do with them; it seems difficult for them to get the blame out of themselves.  

Sacrificing the quality of life

Divorce does not only bring emotionally loss but also sacrifice the quality of life. When a mother has to live with their children and without a husband, the financial and standard of living may decrease for anyone in the household. The family will no longer have the stable income that they once had. This condition forces parents to work longer to earn more money and spend less time with children. Teens mostly are not ready for the changes in life and they will start to worry for their life such as whether they can pay for college tuition or able to become like their friends.

Seeking support from friends

It is normal in the teenage stage to seek for influential friends who have similarity with what they do and what they think. During the divorce process, this influential need may increase since the situation at home is less stable and they no longer feel safe and secure. This should be not a problem as long as kids can get positive and good friends. But the negative effects occur when they receive a negative influence from friends who have destructive behavior.

In some cases, teenagers may also experience behavioral changes due to parental divorce. They may get angry and withdraw from parent to show punishment. Some teenagers may also have decreased academic performance as a result of parental separation.

Cynthia Peters

Blogger, web designer, guy making his way through life.