Divorced parents should be very conscious of the effect the divorce has on adolescent children. If you are having difficulty, or if your adolescent is acting out, a Westlake Village family attorney can help.
Adolescence Is a Transition Period
The ages of 13 to 18 is a time of self-discovery; it is also often a period of transition that can lead to crisis. A Westlake Village family lawyer will tell you that this is an age group that normally is shifting loyalty to peer groups as they begin to separate from the family. Their friends become most important in their lives as the adolescent tests values in the home environment and in school.
Divorce Pushes the Child Further Away
Changes can happen quickly as an adolescent, and a Westlake Village family attorney would suggest that divorce may speed the shift that the child is facing in addressing exposure to drugs, alcohol, sexually acting out and truancy, using little judgment, consciousness of actions, or fear. To rationalize engaging in these activities without concern for consequences, the adolescent might use the parents’ conflict and lack of communication as an excuse.
A Westlake Village family lawyer will explain that many adolescents mourn and feel the loss of their family as a result of the divorce. They may also have concerns about their future; for instance, they may question whether there will be money available for college.
Consistent Parental Supervision Is Key
It is critical for both parents to increase supervision, set clear boundaries, and set examples as role models. The tendency for some parents is to become too self-involved with their own transition and movement through the emotional stages of the divorce. A Westlake Village family attorney will advise that there can be a lasting effect on how the child will believe in trusting others and relationships in general from the behavior exhibited by the parents during this time of divorce. Children could model the parents’ bad behavior and yet, be quick to condemn it.
Have a Clear Parenting Plan
The adolescent will benefit greatly by seeing that their parents are still working together as a team in being parents by setting boundaries, showing concern about their school work and social activities and having clear, agreed upon expectations.
As a Westlake Village family attorney will tell you, an adolescent who is learning to be an adult will benefit greatly when making decisions about school performance, social activity, alcohol, drugs, and love interests with the help of parents exhibiting good communication and close parental supervision.
Helping children cope with a divorce at any age is a challenge, and those at the age of adolescence could use a special knowledge of focus from an experienced family attorney.
For Legal Assistance
For a consultation about your family situation with a Westlake Village family attorney, call the office of Gary Mitchell at 888-452-1846 today.