Children of divorce are more likely to experience behavioral problems, especially if they older. Even though an older child may understand why the divorce is necessary and support the divorce itself, he or she may still have a hard time adjusting. After a contentious divorce and a restructuring of life, the average parent may have a difficult time dealing with any form of rebellion from their teens. Every situation is different, making it hard to decide the best way to manage your unique circumstance. However, there are a few things you should always consider when dealing with teen rebellion after a divorce.
Talking to the Other Parent
No matter how angry you are about the divorce and how inattentive you feel the other parent is, you should always talk to him or her about your mutual child’s rebellious attitude and behavior. Failing to keep your ex informed could lead to serious trouble, especially if the behavior escalates into something dangerous. Remember, if the other parent has joint legal custody, hiding things about your child makes everything substantially worse.
Try to Work With the School
The average child spends the majority of his or her waking hours at school or working on things related to school. If your child starts displaying behavioral issues after a divorce, try your best to work with the school to resolve these issues. Even if the school is unaware of your divorce or you have tried to avoid discussing the divorce with them, they might still be able to help you get through this difficult time. Many teachers have a unique insight into what motivates them and encourages them to behave. That insight and connection can be used to help reach your child during this hard period in his or her life. Cutting your child’s school and educators out of the situation could rob you of a valuable source of support when you need it most.
Do Not Hesitate to Get Private Counseling
No matter how hard you and your loved ones work to reach out to your rebellious teen, sometimes it takes a neutral third party to get through. Seeking outside help does not mean you are a failure or that your parental skills are lacking. It means you care for your child and are willing to go the extra mile to get your child the help he or she needs. A trained professional may have the skill needed to break through to your child before his or her behavior causes long term problems.
Talk to Your Attorney
If your divorce was particularly contentions or you are still dealing with custody issues, contact your attorney immediately about your child’s behavioral issues. An angry or vengeful ex-partner may attempt to use your child’s problems as a reason to accuse you of bad parenting. A skilled child custody attorney can protect you from these attacks and make sure the court knows the truth. The lawyers at Vayman & Teitelbaum understand how the behavior of a child could possibly affect custody issues. We work on your behalf to ensure that your legal rights are protected while helping you do what is in the best interest of your child. Schedule an initial consultation at one of our Atlanta area offices so that we can begin discussing your needs today.