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Teens: Divorces cause them to struggle, too

When your children are going through a divorce with you, they may appear like they can handle everything that's going on. This is especially true of teens. While you may believe your teen is mature enough to handle the divorce, there are some things you should keep in mind.

First, remember that both girls and boys can struggle during their parents' divorce. Although society makes it appear that men are stronger, the truth is that both men and women have feelings and can struggle emotionally during a divorce. It's important to remember that your child, whether male or female, may have concerns that you should talk about with him or her.

A common myth is that older children handle divorces better, but that may not be the case at all. No matter what age your child is, a divorce is a major change in his or her life. Just because your child understands the reasons for a divorce or even agrees with what his or her parents are doing doesn't mean he or she won't have times when he or she struggles to feel loved and secure during the process.

As a parent to a young adult, it's your responsibility to make sure your child's needs are addressed during a divorce. His or her identity, where he or she belongs and his or her family circle is being disrupted. Take the time to reinforce the fact that you care about his or her well-being. Your attorney can help you handle the legal side of your divorce, so you can focus on managing the emotional stress of the event.

Source: Psychology Today, "Helping Children Survive Divorce: The Myth of the Mature Teen," Joseph Nowinski, Ph.D., accessed June 07, 2017

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