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How Divorced Parents Can Help Their Misbehaving Teen

Divorce puts an emotional strain on the children in the family, which can affect their behavior. Teenage children can be particularly troublesome because they can be exposed to bad influences that could get them into serious trouble. In the worst scenarios, an emotionally distraught teen may become involved in criminal or dangerous activities. As a parent, you are responsible for protecting your children and teaching them the difference between right and wrong. You can utilize your parenting time and allocation of parental responsibilities to help your teen through this difficult period.

A Parent’s Role

Being a parent after a divorce means more than providing for the basic living needs of the children and making sure they are attending school. Parents have an irreplaceable role in their children’s emotional development by:

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Give Teens a Say in Post-Divorce Holiday PlansTeenagers can react differently to their first holiday season after a divorce than a younger child will. Younger children are more open about feeling sad or upset, while teenagers may try to suppress their emotions so as not to create turmoil. As a result, they may seem disinterested and unenthusiastic about the holidays but are actually upset and possibly angry. You need to approach your teenager differently than you would a young child when deciding on how to handle parenting time during the holidays.

Making Decisions

Teenagers generally seek more independence as they near adulthood. A divorce forces a change upon them, taking away their ability to control their family lives. They may feel like they cannot decide how and with whom they will celebrate the holidays. You can give them a sense of control by talking to them before deciding:

  • Which holiday traditions you will continue;
  • Whether you will create new holiday traditions; and
  • Who they will get to see on a specific holiday, such as Christmas.

You should consider their requests but set boundaries for what is reasonable. For instance, what your teen may want the most is for you to celebrate Christmas together with your former spouse as if you are still married. You understand how difficult this would be for both of you and how the tension could lead to a confrontation. If your teen wants to see both of you that day, you can come up with other solutions that involve you or your teen traveling.

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Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce attorneyA parent's divorce can take a toll on any child. How a parent's divorce affects a child depends on numerous factors, such as the level of conflict in the marriage before the divorce, the child's relationship with each parent, how drastically the child's lifestyle changes following the divorce, and the child's personality. Some children are more easily upset by conflict in their homes than others. One factor that can play into how a child is affected by his or her parents' divorce is the child's age. At different developmental stages, a child can understand and process the effects of a divorce in different ways.

It is a myth that divorce affects one age group more profoundly than others. The truth is, divorce affects all members of a family, but it can affect children and adolescents in specific ways based on their ages.

Infants and Toddlers

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