Divorce and Families pt 3 of 4: How Do Tweens React to Divorce?

essentialTOPtempDivorce and Families pt 3 of 4: How Do Tweens React lisa schmidt lawto Divorce?

(Guest Series Part 1 of 4, Lisa Schmidt, Schmidt Law Services, March 29, 2015)

 

How Do Tweens React to Divorce?

Later elementary aged children or “Tweens” pose special problems for parents going through divorce. This third in a four part series will help you learn the do’s and don’ts for this transitional age to help them make the adjustment more smoothly.

Tweens, between ages 9 and 12, are in transition between their childhood selves and the teenage world. Stress at home, particularly a divorce, can rush the transition and push children into experimental adolescent behaviors before they gardenfreshADare ready.

Strong, Happy Facade

Tween children can seem emotionally detached from the divorce process, giving their attention to schoolwork, friends, and activities. But cheerfulness is a trait of the age. Tweens may actually be masking their stress and feelings. Keep your eye out for headaches and stomachaches that can clue parents in to their tweens’ stress.

Loyalty Struggles

Preteen children are strongly affected by conflict between their divorcing parents. They often blame one parent for the separation, or feel caught between their mother and father and like they are being asked to take sides. They may also take it on themselves to getting their parents back together. Both parents need to reassure tween children that separation does not mean they are losing a parent. Be especially careful not to make your tween a messenger or spy between the parents.711adAPP

Harmful Helper

When one household splits into two, it can be tempting for over-extended parents to delegate more chores like cleaning, laundry, cooking, and childcare to their preteen children. Some parents even rely on their tweens for emotional support during the divorce. The children are often eager to please and concerned about their parents’ well being, so they will go out of their way to help. But these burdens can interfere with their normal activities and can cause them to withdraw from friends and growing up, and rely too much on the custodial parent.

Your tween child may seem unaffected by the challenges of divorce. But what you can’t see may be hurting them. As you go through the divorce process, make sure you have a lawyer that respects your children’s needs. Family lawyer Lisa J. Schmidt at Schmidt Law Services, PLLC, represents parents and children, and will help you minimize conflict and protect your children’s best interests. Contact Schmidt Law Services today for a consultation.

Lisa J. Schmidt is a family lawyer for Schmidt Law Services, PLLC in Ferndale, Michigan. She emphasizes client engagement and gives each case her individualized attention. If you would like a free initial consultation, contact Schmidt Law Services today.  This blog is reprinted with permission from http://schmidtlawservices.com/2014/12/08/how-do-tweens-react-to-divorce/.

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