After Separation


How Family Breakdown Affects Teens

teen girl unsmiling

While family breakdown is tough for any age group, teenagers often have the hardest time dealing with the breakup of their parents. They may feel angry, confused, and betrayed; this can lead to increases in behavioural problems, depression, anxiety, and academic difficulties. Their sense of security is often shaken, and they may worry about the future.

It’s common for teenagers to start causing trouble when their parents divorce. This is because they’re experiencing a lot of emotions, such as sadness, anger, and confusion. They may also feel like they’re to blame for the divorce, even though they’re not.

Teenagers are more likely to take part in different types of risky behaviour when their parents divorce.

Some teens might start using drugs or alcohol. Others might skip school, get into fights, or rebel in other ways. Some might even begin self-harming, or develop disordered eating habits such as anorexia. If you suspect your child has developed an eating disorder you need to take it very seriously and talk to your doctor about it. They may be able quickly to recommend a therapist and other approaches to help.

angry teen male

Why do even well-behaved teenagers often start misbehaving when their parents split?

There are a few different reasons why teenagers often start misbehaving and acting out when their parents separate.

First, they might be trying to get attention. When parents divorce, it’s common for children to feel like they’re not as important as they used to be. They might start acting out because they want their parents to notice them.

Second, teenagers might be acting out because they’re feeling a lot of emotions. divorce is a really tough thing to go through, and it’s normal for teenagers to feel sad, angry, and confused. They might not know how to express these emotions in a healthy way, so they act out instead.

Finally, some teenagers might act out because they think it’s their fault that their parents are divorcing. Even though it’s not their fault, they might feel like they could have done something to prevent it. This can be a really tough thing to deal with.

girl on smartphone

What can Parents do to help their Teenagers?

If you’re a parent going through separation and divorce, there are a few things you can do to help your teenager.

First, it’s important to talk to your teenager about what’s going on. They might not want to talk about it, but it’s important for them to know that they can come to you with any questions or concerns.

Second, try to be understanding of how your teenager is feeling. divorce is a tough thing for everyone involved, and your teenager is probably feeling a lot of different emotions.

Finally, try to encourage your teenager to express their emotions in a healthy way. This might mean talking to a therapist or counselor, joining a support group, or just talking to a friend. divorce can be really tough, but there are ways to get through it.

We have put together a short set of videos to understand how a teen’s brain works, and how to deal with teens who are withdrawn or aggressive.

Part 1 How a teenager’s brain develops

Part 2 The teen brain

Part 3 The Withdrawn Teen

Part 4 The Aggressive Teen