There is so much going on for young people during this stage of transition. Firstly there is a lot of evidence that reports the brain alters at this time mainly affecting the child’s ability to problem solve due to the front cortex. Besides all the brain changes children start to question their own identity as to where do I fit in? They also question what their parents have said and start looking at their peers for what is or isn’t the norm
This is often a stage for risk taking behaviour (which is normal). Remember your own teenage years! Teenagers may experiment with alcohol, smoking, piercing, alongside numerous other risk taking behaviours. Teenagers quite often are very self-centred during this transition stage. Goodness help you if you say the word NO!
Teenagers can be challenging and demanding for parents and need a different style of parenting than they did in earlier years which can be very hard for parents, especially when going through their own personal changes.
Co-parenting can work effectively providing stability if parents can communicate and have the same rules in each of the different homes.
Not all teenagers behave the same. Some sail through teenage years whilst others withdraw from the family, isolating themselves from the family unit and this may can happen with or without divorce.
Key Point – It can often be hard to say if teenage behaviour, when difficult, is related to the impact of a parent’s divorce but as adults you will know if you are putting the child’s emotions and well-being first, in any battles you may be having with your ex-partner.
There are no winners when it leaves children/teenagers with lasting emotional scars due to their parent’s actions and behaviour.