So your teen wants to divorce YOU

Teens, generally speaking, can be mercurial creatures, can’t they? And they can also very dramatic. The idea of “divorcing” their parents is not one that the average teen today would find unthinkable. It is not just the movies that we see this happening. The law even allows teens to “emancipate” themselves and to be declared legal adults.  Many teens consider themselves to be “divorced” from their parents even without going to court to get an order of emancipation. This sometimes happens after a parental divorce.
Why would a teen divorce his or her parent(s) after a parental divorce? So many reasons. Example: The teen may become disillusioned with a parent who continues to “bad mouth” the other parent. Or the teen may feel that they’ve become increasingly unable to deal with the drama in their parents lives, or to depend on any form of consistent behavior from their parents. A teen may simply grow tired of having to be the adult in the relationship with his or her parent(s). A teen could feel alienated when a parent moves on with a new life and the new blended family becomes too overwhelming. The teen may feel that divorcing their parent(s) is the only way to stay sane themselves and not to lose themselves. The teen may feel unloved and uncared for.
There are myriad reasons why a teen would take this desperate action. But as I said, they are mercurial. They are likely to change their minds eventually. Don’t, however, be surprised if that doesn’t happen till he or she is over thirty. The trigger often occurs when the teen begins to have children of their own.
What can you do? Maybe nothing. Just hold tight, give them time and hope they come around. But just because they asked for a divorce doesn’t mean you have to cut off all ties. Even a parent/child divorce can be amicable.